IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pra/mprapa/22776.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Does Fiscal Decentralization Dampen All Ethnic Conflicts? The heterogeneous Impact of Fiscal Decentralization on Local Minorities and Local Majorities

Author

Listed:
  • Tranchant, Jean-Pierre

Abstract

Fiscal decentralization is widely proposed as an efficient means to accommodate ethnic violence. Yet while most of the econometric cross-country studies supports this view, case studies offer mixed results. In this paper, it is argued that this is partly due to the fact that fiscal decentralization exerts a heterogeneous impact across ethnic local majorities and minorities, both types of groups being regionally concentrated. The main argument in favour of fiscal decentralization is that by politically and fiscally empowering the local communities, these are enabled to allocate public spending in a way that is closer to their preferences. This paper hypothesises that such an empowerment mechanism, while relevant for local majorities, is likely to perform poorly for local minorities as they are not in a dominant position locally. This might feed ethnic violence as local minorities mobilize to obtain administrative regions in which they would control the decentralized policy. Similarly, fiscal decentralization could fuel communal violence as politically marginalized ethnic minorities clash against powerful local majorities. The article also hypothesises that the concern expressed by sceptics that fiscal decentralization undermines national cohesion and encourages secessionism is more acute for local majorities than for local minorities as the latter are usually too small to credibly envisage independence. Such hypotheses are discussed in the paper and then empirically tested on a panel dataset of ethnic local majorities and minorities across the world on the period 1985-2001. The main results are that i) fiscal decentralization does not encourage secessionism but on the contrary dampen rebellion of local majorities but, ii) fiscal decentralization fuels rebellion of local minorities, iii) fiscal decentralization reduces communal violence for both local majorities and minorities. As a result of its heterogeneous impact, the article calls into question the relevance of relying on fiscal decentralization to manage ethnic violence.

Suggested Citation

  • Tranchant, Jean-Pierre, 2010. "Does Fiscal Decentralization Dampen All Ethnic Conflicts? The heterogeneous Impact of Fiscal Decentralization on Local Minorities and Local Majorities," MPRA Paper 22776, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:22776
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/22776/1/MPRA_paper_22776.pdf
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Easterly, William & Kurlat, Sergio & Wacziarg, Romain, 2003. "Fractionalization," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 155-194, June.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:98:y:2004:i:02:p:209-229_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Nicholas Sambanis, 2001. "Do Ethnic and Nonethnic Civil Wars Have the Same Causes?," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 45(3), pages 259-282, June.
    4. Pranab Bardhan, 2002. "Decentralization of Governance and Development," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 185-205, Fall.
    5. Kjetil Bjorvatn & Alexander W. Cappelen, 2003. "Decentralization and the Fate of Minorities," CESifo Working Paper Series 1032, CESifo Group Munich.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Markwardt, Gunther & Farzanegan, Mohammad & Leßmann, Christian, 2013. "Natural-resource rents and internal conflicts - Can decentralization lift the curse?," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79940, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Emilie Caldeira, 2012. "Does the System of Allocation of Intergovernmental Transfers in Senegal Eliminate Politically Motivated Targeting?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 21(2), pages 167-191, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ethnic conflict; fiscal decentralization; panel data;

    JEL classification:

    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:22776. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.