The Dilemma of Decentralization in Colombia
This paper sketches the general course of Colombian decentralization over the last two decades. One section of the paper focuses on the intermediate level of subnational government, the departments. We argue that the present situation is inherently untenable. Either departments must be cut back to tasks they can handle, or they must be strengthened to be able to handle the tasks they have. We explore the extent to which the present problems can be resolved by such incremental changes as better use of existing department revenue sources, more systematic “categorization” of departments with respect to expenditure responsibilities, and a revised transfer system. The paper also considers the even more diverse and complex problems at the municipal level. The final section suggests that it is not so much the level as the structure of transfers -- whatever their level -- that lies at the heart of the dilemma of decentralization in Columbia. Reform or transfer design, like bestowing more fiscal autonomy (but not more taxing power) on those who can tax themselves, is central to creating the incentive structure needed to resolve this dilemma. The key question, however, is whether the coalition of political interests that gave rise to the present system cannot only be brought to see the need for such changes but also to support them for a sufficiently long period to produce results.
|Date of creation:||Dec 2003|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: 416 978 2451
Web page: http://www-2.rotman.utoronto.ca/iib
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.:
- Richard M. Bird & Sally Wallace, 2003. "Taxing Alcohol in Africa: Reflections from International Experience," International Tax Program Papers 0304, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, revised Nov 2003.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ttp:itpwps:0404. 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: (Richard Bird)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.