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Power to the People? The Impact of Decentralization on Governance

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  • Axel Dreher

Abstract

The paper analyzes the impact of decentralization on governance employing four indicators of governance and five measures of decentralization. Depending on data availability, crosssections for a maximum of 129 countries are estimated. Results for a panel of about 70 countries over the period 1984-2001 are also presented. The results show that decentralization - measured as the share of sub-national employment, revenues or, respectively, expenditures - improves governance. This is particularly true for low income countries but - depending on the indicator employed - to some extent for high income countries also. However, the number of sub-national government tiers exerts a negative impact on some dimensions of governance.

Suggested Citation

  • Axel Dreher, 2006. "Power to the People? The Impact of Decentralization on Governance," KOF Working papers 06-121, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:06-121
    DOI: 10.3929/ethz-a-005118157
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    Cited by:

    1. Monica Escaleras & Charles Register, 2012. "Fiscal decentralization and natural hazard risks," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 165-183, April.
    2. Andreas Kyriacou & Oriol Roca sagalés, 2009. "Fiscal descentralization and the quality of government: evidence from panel data," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 189(2), pages 131-155, June.
    3. Stefan Voigt & Lorenz Blume, 2012. "The economic effects of federalism and decentralization—a cross-country assessment," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 229-254, April.
    4. Lankina, Tomila, 2008. "Cross-Cutting Literature Review on the Drivers of Local Council Accountability and Performance," MPRA Paper 12408, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Justina AV Fischer & Antonio Rodriguez-Andr�s, 2008. "Political institutions and suicide: A regional analysis of Switzerland," TWI Research Paper Series 33, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.

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    Keywords

    Decentralization; Governance; Legal Quality; Judicial Independence; Federalism; Institutions;
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