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

Author

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  • Freinkman, Lev
  • Yossifov, Plamen

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Freinkman, Lev & Yossifov, Plamen, 1999. "Decentralization in regional fiscal systems in Russia - trends and links to economic performance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2100, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2100
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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.
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    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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Libman, Alexander Mikhailovich, 2009. "Эндогенные Границы И Распределение Власти В Федерациях И Международных Сообществах
      [ENDOGENOUS BOUNDARIES AND DISTRIBUTION OF POWER In the Federation]
      ," MPRA Paper 16473, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Libman, Alexander, 2008. "Federalism and regionalism in transition countries: A survey," MPRA Paper 29196, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Freinkman, Lev & Plekhanov, Alexander, 2009. "Fiscal Decentralization in Rentier Regions: Evidence from Russia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 503-512, February.
    4. Jin, Hehui & Qian, Yingyi & Weingast, Barry R., 2005. "Regional decentralization and fiscal incentives: Federalism, Chinese style," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1719-1742, September.
    5. Libman, Alexander, 2008. "Endogenous (De)Centralization and the Russian Federalism," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 9(1), pages 23-57.
    6. Gil, Carlos & Ezcurra, Roberto & Pascual, Padro & Rapun, Manuel, 2002. "Decentralization and regional economic disparities," ERSA conference papers ersa02p306, European Regional Science Association.
    7. Martha de Melo & Gur Ofer & Plamen Yossifov, 2003. "Transition in Regional Capitals along the Volga," Public Economics 0302010, EconWPA.
    8. Violeta Vulovic, 2010. "The effect of sub-national borrowing control on fiscal sustainability: How to regulate?," Working Papers 2010/36, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    9. Freinkman, Lev & Plekhanov, Alexander, 2005. "What determines the extent of fiscal decentralization ? The Russian paradox," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3710, The World Bank.
    10. Justina AV Fischer & Antonio Rodriguez-Andr�s, 2008. "Political institutions and suicide: A regional analysis of Switzerland," TWI Research Paper Series 33, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    11. Irina Dolinskaya & Irina Tytell, 2002. "Transition and Regional Inequality in Russia; Reorganization or Procrastination?," IMF Working Papers 02/169, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Alexeev, Michael & Mamedov, Arseny & Fomina, Evgenia & Deryugin, Alexander, 2017. "Influence of the Main Characteristics of Interbudgetary Relations on the Indicators of Economic Development of the Subjects of the Russian Federation," Working Papers 031717, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.
    13. Roy Bahl, 1999. "Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations in Leningrad Region," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper9902, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    14. repec:eee:rujoec:v:1:y:2015:i:4:p:404-418 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. 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.
    16. Roy Bahl & Bayar Tumennasan, 2002. "How Should Revenues From Natural Resources Be Shared?," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0214, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.

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