IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Decentralization in regional fiscal systems in Russia - trends and links to economic performance

Listed author(s):
  • Freinkman, Lev
  • Yossifov, Plamen

To shed light on decentralization in Russia, the authors examine intergovernmental fiscal relations within regions. To analyze trends, they review channels of fiscal allocation within regions - tax sharing and local transfer schemes. To evaluate the potential impact of various fiscal decentralization patterns on regional economic performance (including growth and the budget deficit), the authors study data on the structure of 89 Russian consolidated regional budgets for 1992-96. They find that local governments'relative share of Russia's consolidated budget, although substantive (roughly a quarter of the total budget), did not expand after 1994. The federal government's relative role in financing public goods and services declined as the relative role of local governments increased substantially. Local governments collected more revenues in 1996 (6.4 percent of GDP) and spent more than regional governments. They also substantially increased social financing (including health, education, and social protection). Russia made no progress toward a more transparent system for tax assignments. The average level of expenditure decentralization is similar for ethnically Russian regions and national republics and"okrugs"but revenue arrangements differ greatly."True"decentralization has taken place in"oblasts"and"krais"where local authorities are provided with a bigger share of sub-national tax revenues. A redistribution model applies in republics and autonomous okrugs, where greater local outlays have been financed through larger transfers from regional governments. Regions near each other tend to have similar budget arrangements - the result of intensive interactions between neighbors and probably supported by the activities of regional associations. The size of a region's territory does not influence decentralization outcomes. Fiscal decentralization seems positively related to the share of education spending in regional budgets. And regions with more decentralized finances tend to experience less economic decline. But budget control is weaker in more decentralized regions. Instability and lack of transparency in intergovernmental fiscal relations provide sub-national governments little incentive for responsible fiscal policy. Further decentralization without greater transparency could bring greater debt and deficits.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2100.

in new window

Date of creation: 30 Apr 1999
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2100
Contact details of provider: Postal:
1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433

Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

in new window

  1. 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.
  2. F. Fornasari & Steve B. Webb & Heng-Fu Zou, 1998. "Decentralized Spending and Central Government Deficits: International Evidence," CEMA Working Papers 508, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  3. Wildasin, David E., 1998. "Fiscal aspect of evolving federations : issues for policy and research," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1884, The World Bank.
  4. Alesina, Alberto & Hausmann, Ricardo & Hommes, Rudolf & Stein, Ernesto, 1999. "Budget institutions and fiscal performance in Latin America," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 253-273, August.
  5. Wildasin, David E., 1997. "Externalities and bailouts : hard and soft budget constraints in intergovernmental fiscal relations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1843, The World Bank.
  6. Robert P. Inman & Daniel L. Rubinfeld, 1997. "Rethinking Federalism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 43-64, Fall.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2100. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.