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The Impact of Fiscal Decentralization on Growth, Inflation, and Inequality in the Americas

Listed author(s):
  • Antonio N. Bojanic

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Tulane University)

This paper analyzes the impact of fiscal decentralization on economic growth, the inflation rate, and the GINI coefficient in eleven American countries. The findings suggest that the expected positive impacts of this process have been modest, with revenue decentralization being more effective at preventing inflation, and expenditure decentralization showing greater tendency to positively influence growth. The flipside of these findings is that in the full sample of countries revenue decentralization deters growth while expenditure decentralization seems to foster inflation. With regards to the impact on the GINI coefficient, fiscal decentralization seems to be, at best, a marginal, negative influence on income distribution. The main recommendation is that American nations should pause and analyze the reasons why this process of fiscal devolution of responsibilities has not delivered on its promise of greater growth, price stability, and less income inequality.

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File URL: http://econ.tulane.edu/RePEc/pdf/tul1610.pdf
File Function: First Version, August 2016
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Paper provided by Tulane University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1610.

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Date of creation: Aug 2016
Handle: RePEc:tul:wpaper:1610
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  1. Tarkan Cavusoglu & Oguzhan Dincer, 2015. "Does decentralization reduce income inequality? Only in rich states," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 285-306, July.
  2. Oates, Wallace E., 1993. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Development," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(2), pages 237-43, June.
  3. Norman Gemmell & Richard Kneller & Ismael Sanz, 2013. "Fiscal Decentralization And Economic Growth: Spending Versus Revenue Decentralization," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(4), pages 1915-1931, October.
  4. Oates, Wallace E., 1993. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Development," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(2), pages 237-243, June.
  5. Agnese Sacchi & Simone Salotti, 2014. "The Effects of Fiscal Decentralization on Household Income Inequality: Some Empirical Evidence," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 202-222, June.
  6. 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.
  7. Neyapti, Bilin, 2010. "Fiscal decentralization and deficits: International evidence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 155-166, June.
  8. Zhang, Tao & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Fiscal decentralization, public spending, and economic growth in China," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 221-240, February.
  9. Song, Yang, 2013. "Rising Chinese regional income inequality: The role of fiscal decentralization," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 294-309.
  10. Xie, Danyang & Zou, Heng-fu & Davoodi, Hamid, 1999. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth in the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 228-239, March.
  11. Beramendi, Pablo, 2003. "Political institutions and income inequality: The case of decentralization," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Institutions, States, Markets SP II 2003-09, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  12. Francis Amagoh & Aloysius Ajab Amin, 2012. "An Examination of the Impacts of Fiscal Decentralization on Economic Growth," International Journal of Business Administration, International Journal of Business Administration, Sciedu Press, vol. 3(6), pages 72-81, November.
  13. Weingast, Barry R., 2009. "Second generation fiscal federalism: The implications of fiscal incentives," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 279-293, May.
  14. Thornton, John, 2007. "Fiscal decentralization and economic growth reconsidered," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 64-70, January.
  15. J Benson Durham, 1999. "Econometrics of Income Distribution: Toward More Comprehensive Specification of Institutional Correlates," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 41(1), pages 43-74, April.
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