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Fiscal federalism and regional growth : evidence from the Russian Federation in the 1990s

Author

Listed:
  • Raj M. Desai
  • Lev M. Freinkman
  • Itzhak Goldberg

Abstract

Subnational fiscal autonomy-the basis for fiscal federalism in modern federations-is meant to serve two roles. First, local control over revenue collection is meantto provide a check on the capacity of central authorities to tax arbitrarily local capital. Second, retention of taxes raised locally is meant to establish incentives for subnational governmental authorities to foster endemic economic growth as a way of promoting local tax bases. But in the Russian Federation, fiscally autonomous regions have often resisted market-oriented reforms, the enactment of rules protecting private property, and the dismantling of price controls and barriers to trade. The authors find statistical evidence in support of the hypothesis that fiscal incentives of the Russian regions represent an important determinant of regional economic performance. The authors also seek to understand the conditions under which fiscal autonomy prompts regional growth and recovery, and the conditions under which it has adverse economic effects. They argue that the presence of"unearned"income streams-particularly in the form of revenues from natural resource production or from budgetary transfers from the central government-has turned regions dependent on these income sources into"rentier"regions. As such, governments in these regions have used local control over revenues and expenditures to shelter certain firms (natural resource producers or loss-making enterprises) from market forces. Using new fiscal data from 80 Russian regions from 1996-99, the authors test this central hypothesis in both single- and simultaneous-equation specifications. Their results indicate that tax retention (as a proxy for fiscal autonomy) has a positive effect on the cumulative output recovery of regions since the breakup of the Soviet Union. But they also find that this effect decreases as rentable income streams to regions increase.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3138
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    2. Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina V., 2000. "Incentives to provide local public goods: fiscal federalism, Russian style," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 337-368, June.
    3. Knack, Stephen, 2000. "Aid dependence and the quality of governance : a cross-country empirical analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2396, The World Bank.
    4. Popov, Vladimir, 2001. "Reform Strategies and Economic Performance of Russia's Regions," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 865-886, May.
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    6. 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.
    7. Philip R. Lane & Aaron Tornell, 1999. "The Voracity Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 22-46, March.
    8. A. Lavrov, 1996. "Fiscal Federalism and Financial Stabilization," Problems of Economic Transition, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 83-94.
    9. Peter Kennedy, 2003. "A Guide to Econometrics, 5th Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 5, volume 1, number 026261183x, January.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fritz Breuss & Markus Eller, 2004. "Decentralising the public sector: Fiscal Decentralisation and Economic Growth: Is there Really a Link?," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 2(1), pages 3-9, October.
    2. Berkowitz, Daniel & DeJong, David N., 2011. "Growth in post-Soviet Russia: A tale of two transitions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 133-143.
    3. repec:tkp:ijsrsy:v:2:y:2012:i:1:p:57-70 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Paul Hallwood & Ronald MacDonald, 2008. "A Review of the Empirical Evidence on the Effects of Fiscal Decentralization on Economic Efficiency: With Comments on Tax Devolution to Scotland," Working papers 2008-46, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    5. repec:kap:enreec:v:67:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10640-015-9977-y is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Brigitte Evelyne Granville & Carol Scott Leonard, 2006. "Do institutions matter for technological change in transition economies? The case of the Russia's 89 regions and republics," UCL SSEES Economics and Business working paper series 70, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES).
    7. repec:pit:wpaper:369 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Nikolay Patonov, 2013. "Local Fiscal Capacity in the New Members of the European Union: Is It Efficient?," International Journal of Synergy and Research, ToKnowPress, vol. 2(1), pages 57-70.
    9. Philip Bodman & Kathryn Ford & Tom Gole & Andrew Hodge, "undated". "What Drives Fiscal Decentralisation?," MRG Discussion Paper Series 3009, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    10. Leppänen, Simo & Solanko, Laura & Kosonen, Riitta, 2015. "Could climate change affect government expenditures? Early evidence from the Russian regions," BOFIT Discussion Papers 27/2015, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    11. repec:taf:regstd:v:50:y:2016:i:11:p:1849-1862 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:ces:ifodic:v:2:y:2004:i:1:p:14567690 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Anwar Shah & Theresa Thompson & Heng-fu Zou, 2004. "Decentralising the public sector: The Impact of Decentralisation on Service Delivery, Corruption, Fiscal Management and Growth in Developing and Emerging Market Economies: A Synthesis of Empirical Evi," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 2(1), pages 10-14, October.
    14. Granville, Brigitte & Leonard, Carol S., 2010. "Do Informal Institutions Matter for Technological Change in Russia? The Impact of Communist Norms and Conventions, 1998-2004," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 155-169, February.
    15. Ramiro Gil-Serrate & Julio López-Laborda, "undated". "Modelling Tax Decentralisation And Regional Growth," Working Papers 14-05 Classification-JEL , Instituto de Estudios Fiscales.
    16. Desai, Raj M. & Olofsgard, Anders, 2006. "The political advantage of soft budget constraints," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 370-387, June.
    17. Horváth, Gyula & Lóránd, Balázs, 2012. "Decentralizáció és gazdasági fejlődés. Az olasz példa
      [Decentralization and economic development. The case of Italy]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(12), pages 1273-1298.
    18. Freinkman, Lev & Plekhanov, Alexander, 2005. "What determines the extent of fiscal decentralization ? The Russian paradox," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3710, The World Bank.
    19. Anwar Shah & Theresa Thompson & Heng-fu Zou, 2004. "Decentralising the public sector: The Impact of Decentralisation on Service Delivery, Corruption, Fiscal Management and Growth in Developing and Emerging Market Economies: A Synthesis of Empirical Evi," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 2(1), pages 10-14, October.
    20. Markus Eller & Jarko Fidrmuc & Zuzana Fungáčová, 2016. "Fiscal Policy and Regional Output Volatility: Evidence from Russia," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(11), pages 1849-1862, November.
    21. repec:pid:journl:v:55:y:2016:i:4:p:743-760 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Hammed Adetola Adefeso, 2014. "Local Decentralisation and Economic Growth in Nigeria," Acta Universitatis Danubius. OEconomica, Danubius University of Galati, issue 10(3), pages 102-115, June.

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