Fiscal Decentralization, Commitment and Regional Inequality: Evidence from State-level Cross-sectional Data for the United States
While conventional approaches to fiscal decentralization suggest that decentralization lowers the power of redistribution among regions, recent theories argue that fiscal decentralization works as a commitment device. In this manner, where the budget in a given region is highly dependent on transfers from the central government, there is an incentive for effort following fiscal decentralization. The former effect is argued to increase regional inequality, while the latter suggests a decrease in regional inequality. However no known empirical work has directly examined the relationship between fiscal decentralization and regional inequality. In this paper, cross-sectional data for the United States, excluding the convergence of regional income, are used to derive the net relationship. It is also the case that the direction of this effect on regional inequality depends on how fiscal decentralization is promoted. While the former distribution effect directly depends on the central government's share of power, the latter incentive effect depends on autonomy. Two measures that represent the power of the central government and autonomy are used to identify these effects. The results indicate that local expenditure or revenue share in fiscal decentralization has no significant effect on regional inequality, while the achievement of autonomy by fiscal decentralization has a negative effect on regional inequality. This supports the theory that fiscal decentralization works as a commitment device. The results also show that how fiscal decentralization is promoted is important for how it impacts on regional inequality.
|Date of creation:||Jan 2005|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Hongo 7-3-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033|
Web page: http://www.cirje.e.u-tokyo.ac.jp/index.html
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Yingyi Qian & Barry R. Weingast, 1997.
"Federalism as a Commitment to Reserving Market Incentives,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 83-92, Fall.
- Yingyi Qian & Barry R. Weingast, 1997. "Federalism as a Commitment to Preserving Market Incentives," Working Papers 97042, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
- Partridge, Mark D. & Rickman, Dan S. & Levernier, William, 1996. "Trends in U.S. income inequality: Evidence from a panel of states," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 17-37.
- Oates, Wallace E., 1993. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Development," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(2), pages 237-43, June.
- Shankar, Raja & Shah, Anwar, 2003. "Bridging the Economic Divide Within Countries: A Scorecard on the Performance of Regional Policies in Reducing Regional Income Disparities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 1421-1441, August.
- Richard Morrill, 2000. "Geographic variation in change in income inequality among US states, 1970-1990," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 34(1), pages 109-130.
- Akai, Nobuo & Sakata, Masayo, 2002. "Fiscal decentralization contributes to economic growth: evidence from state-level cross-section data for the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 93-108, July.
- Dapeng Hu & Masahisa Fujita, 2001. "Regional disparity in China 1985-1994: The effects of globalization and economic liberalization," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 35(1), pages 3-37.
- Robert G. Lynch, 2003. "Estimates of Income and Income Inequality in the United States and in Each of the Fifty States: 1988-1999," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(3), pages 571-588.
- Mark S. McGillivray & Matthew Peter, 1991. "Regional Income Inequality In A Developed Nation: A Cross-Sectional Study Of Australian Sub-State Regions," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 21(2), pages 137-151, Summer.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tky:fseres:2005cf315. 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: (CIRJE administrative office)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.