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Decentralization and the Welfare State: What Do Citizens Perceive?

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  • Diaz-Serrano, Luis
  • Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés

Abstract

Trust in public institutions and public policies are generally perceived as a precondition for economic recovery in times of recession. Recent empirical evidence tends to find a positive link between decentralization and trust. But our knowledge about whether decentralization – through increased trust – improves the perception of the delivery and effectiveness of public policies is still limited. In this paper we estimate the impact of fiscal and political decentralization on the perception of the state of the education system and of health services, by using the 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008 waves of the European social survey. The analysis of the views of 160,000 individuals in 31 European countries indicates that while the effect of fiscal decentralization on the perception of the state of the health and education system is unambiguously positive, political decentralization affects citizen’s satisfaction with education and health delivery in different ways. The influence of political decentralization, however, is highly contingent on whether we consider the capacity of the local or regional government to exercise authority over its citizens (self-rule) or to influence policy at the national level (shared-rule).

Suggested Citation

  • Diaz-Serrano, Luis & Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés, 2014. "Decentralization and the Welfare State: What Do Citizens Perceive?," MPRA Paper 54123, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:54123
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:soinre:v:132:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1258-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:bla:jecsur:v:31:y:2017:i:4:p:1095-1129 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Santiago Lago-Peñas & Agnese Sacchi, 2017. "The Impact Of Fiscal Decentralization: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(4), pages 1095-1129, September.
    4. Duncan M. Wagana & Mike A. Iravo & Joyce D. Nzulwa & John M. Kihoro, 2016. "Effect of Financial and Political Decentralization on Service Delivery in County Governments in Kenya," International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, vol. 6(6), pages 304-320, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Education; health; satisfaction; fiscal and political decentralization; Europe;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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