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What Drives Fiscal Decentralisation?

This paper investigates the determinants of fiscal decentralisation, focusing in particular on the impact of the level of income on the level of fiscal decentralisation. Various measures of fiscal decentralisation, several of them novel in this context, are employed in a cross-country econometric model to test established and more recent hypotheses. Paying careful attention to variable measurement, model specification and sample coverage, the results suggest that there are significant relationships between a range of factors, including income, geographical size, population density, population diversity, military expenditure, the structure of the public sector and openness to trade, and fiscal decentralisation. However, these relationships may be more complicated than previously reported. For the entire sample and for the OECD subsample a positive relationship between income and decentralisation is found, which corroborates the results found in earlier studies. However, for the middle and lower income nations, higher income is found to be associated with less decentralisation.

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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia in its series MRG Discussion Paper Series with number 3009.

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Handle: RePEc:qld:uqmrg6:30
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  1. Raj M. Desai & Lev M. Freinkman & Itzhak Goldberg, 2003. "Fiscal federalism and regional growth : evidence from the Russian Federation in the 1990s," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3138, The World Bank.
  2. Gary Woller & Kerk Phillips, 1998. "Fiscal decentralisation and IDC economic growth: An empirical investigation," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(4), pages 139-148.
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  4. Ebel, Robert D. & Yilmaz, Serdar, 2002. "On the measurement and impact of fiscal decentralization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2809, The World Bank.
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  7. Zhang, Tao & Zou, Heng-fu, 2001. "The growth impact of intersectoral and intergovernmental allocation of public expenditure: With applications to China and India," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 58-81.
  8. 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.
  9. Iimi, Atsushi, 2005. "Decentralization and economic growth revisited: an empirical note," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 449-461, May.
  10. Roy Bahl, 1999. "Implementation Rules For Fiscal Decentralization," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper9901, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  11. Ulrich Thie├čen, 2003. "Fiscal Decentralisation and Economic Growth in High-Income OECD Countries," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 24(3), pages 237-274, September.
  12. R W Bahl & S Nath, 1986. "Public expenditure decentralization in developing countries," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 4(4), pages 405-418, August.
  13. Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Scholarly Articles 3612769, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Robert McNab, 1997. "Fiscal Decentralization, Economic Growth, and Democratic Governance," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper9707, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  15. Tao Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 2001. "Fiscal decentralization, public spending, and economic growth in China," CEMA Working Papers 58, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
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