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Decentralization and the Welfare State: What Do Citizens Perceive?

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

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).

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 54123.

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Date of creation: 05 Mar 2014
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:54123
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  4. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Roberto Ezcurra, 2010. "Is fiscal decentralization harmful for economic growth?: evidence from the OECD countries," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 30796, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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  10. Andr�s Rodr�guez-Pose & Adala Bwire, 2004. "The economic (in)efficiency of devolution," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 36(11), pages 1907-1928, November.
  11. Christian Bjørnskov & Axel Dreher & Justina Fischer, 2008. "Cross-country determinants of life satisfaction: exploring different determinants across groups in society," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 119-173, January.
  12. Iwan Barankay & Ben Lockwood, 2005. "Decentralization and the Productive Efficiency of Government: Evidence from Swiss Cantons," Economics Discussion Papers 597, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
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  15. Bjørnskov, Christian & Drehe, Axel & Fischer, Justina A.V., 2008. "On decentralization and life satisfaction," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 147-151, April.
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  17. Lessmann, Christian, 2009. "Fiscal decentralization and regional disparity: Evidence from cross-section and panel data," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 08/09, Dresden University of Technology, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
  18. Luis Diaz-Serrano & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2012. "Decentralization, Subjective Well-Being And The Perception Of Institutions," ERSA conference papers ersa12p586, European Regional Science Association.
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  24. Diaz-Serrano, Luis & Meix-Llop, Enric, 2012. "Do Fiscal and Political Decentralization Raise Students' Performance? A Cross-Country Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 6722, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  25. Davoodi, Hamid & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Study," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 244-257, March.
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  28. Elias Mossialos, 1997. "Citizens' Views on Health Care Systems in the 15 Member States of The European Union," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(2), pages 109-116.
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