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Devolution dynamics of Spanish local government

  • Emili Tortosa Ausina


    (Universitat Jaume I)

  • Diego Prior Jiménez

    (Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona)

  • María Teresa Balaguer-Coll

    (Universitat Jaume I)

Over the last few years, there has been a devolutionary tendency in many developed and developingcountries. In this article we propose a methodology to decompose whether the benefits in terms ofefficiency derived from transfers of powers from higher to municipal levels of government (the¿economic dividend¿ of devolution) might increase over time. This methodology is based on linearprogramming approaches for efficiency measurement. We provide an application to Spanishmunicipalities, which have had to adapt to both the European Stability and Growth Pact as well as todomestic regulation seeking local governments¿ balanced budget. Results indicate that efficiencygains from enhanced decentralization have increased over time. However, the way through whichthese gains accrue differs across municipalities¿in some cases technical change is the maincomponent, whereas in others catching up dominates. Durante los últimos años ha habido una corriente hacia la descentralización de poderes desde laadministración central hacia capas más bajas de gobierno, tanto en países desarrollados como envías de desarrollo. En este artículo proponemos una metodología para determinar si los beneficiosen términos de eficiencia derivados de la transferencia de poderes a los municipios (el "dividendo económico" de la descentralización) podrían aumentar en el tiempo. La técnica está basada enenfoques de programación lineal para la medición de la eficiencia. Llevamos a cabo la aplicación alos municipios españoles, que han tenido que adaptarse tanto al Pacto de Estabilidad y Crecimiento europeo, así como a la Ley General de Estabilidad Presupuestaria. Los resultados indican que lasganancias de eficiencia derivadas de una mayor descentralización han aumentado en los últimosaños. Sin embargo, el modo en que estas se originan varía según municipios -en algunos casos es elcambio técnico el factor dominante, en otros han sido las ganancias de eficiencia-.

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Paper provided by Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie) in its series Working Papers. Serie EC with number 2010-01.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by Ivie
Handle: RePEc:ivi:wpasec:2010-01
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  1. Maria Teresa Balaguer-Coll & Diego Prior & Emili Tortosa-Ausina, 2010. "Devolution dynamics of Spanish local government," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 42(6), pages 1476-1495, June.
  2. Emili Tortosa Ausina & Diego Prior & María Teresa Balaguer-Coll, 2006. "Decentralization And Effiency In Spanish Local Goverment," Working Papers. Serie EC 2006-02, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  3. Pilar Beneito López & Amparo Sanchis Llopis & María Engracia Rochina Barrachina, 2009. "The role of learning in innovation: in-house versus externally contracted R&D experience," Working Papers. Serie EC 2009-11, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  4. Emili Tortosa Ausina & Diego Prior & María Teresa Balaguer-Coll, 2004. "On The Determinants Of Local Government Performance: A Two-Stage Nonparametric Approach," Working Papers. Serie EC 2004-04, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  5. Martins-Filho, Carlos & Yao, Feng, 2008. "A smooth nonparametric conditional quantile frontier estimator," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 143(2), pages 317-333, April.
  6. De Borger, Bruno & Kerstens, Kristiaan, 1996. "Cost efficiency of Belgian local governments: A comparative analysis of FDH, DEA, and econometric approaches," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 145-170, April.
  7. Victor M. Giménez & Diego Prior, 2007. "Long- and Short-Term Cost Efficiency Frontier Evaluation: Evidence from Spanish Local Governments," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 28(1), pages 121-139, 03.
  8. Ulrich Thießen, 2003. "Fiscal Decentralisation and Economic Growth in High-Income OECD Countries," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 24(3), pages 237-274, September.
  9. Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge & McNab, Robert M., 2003. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 1597-1616, September.
  10. Francisco Requena & Guadalupe Serrano & Joan Martín Montaner, 2009. "The effects of immigration on the productive structure of Spanish regions," Working Papers. Serie EC 2009-01, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  11. DE BORGER, Bruno & KERSTENS, K. & MOESEN, Wim & VANNESTE, Jacques, 1992. "Explaining differences in productive efficiency: An application to Belgian municipalities," SESO Working Papers 1992003, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
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