Decentralization and the provision of public services : framework and implementation
This paper discusses decentralization (administrative, fiscal and political) of government in public service provision. It aims to facilitate understanding among practitioners, policy makers, and scholars about what decentralization entails in practice compared to theory. A review of the empirical literature and experience of decentralization is presented. The paper highlights issues that policy makers in developing and transitional countries should be aware of when reforming government, considering their unique political and economic environment. The author argues that decentralization produces efficiency gains stemming from inter-jurisdictional competition, enhanced checks and balances over the government through voting at the subnational level, and informational advantages due to proximity to citizens. By contrast, arguments against decentralization includethe risk of an increased level of corruption, coordination problems stemming from multiple layers of government, low capacity of subnational government, and unproductive inter-jurisdictional competition. Decentralization itself does not render increased government effectiveness in public service provision. Instead, the effectiveness of government largely depends on the quality of human capital and institutions.
|Date of creation:||01 Feb 2008|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433|
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page: http://www.worldbank.org/
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.:
- Mariano Tommasi, 2002. "Federalism in Argentina and the Reforms of the 1990s," Working Papers 48, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised May 2002.
- Jonathan Rodden, 2000. "Decentralization and the Challenge of Hard Budget Constraints," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11426, The World Bank.
- Dilip Mookherjee & Pranab Bardhan, 2005.
"Decentralization, Corruption And Government Accountability: An Overview,"
Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series
WP2005-023, Boston University - Department of Economics, revised Jun 2005.
- Pranab Bardhan & Dilip Mookherjee, 2005. "Decentralization, Corruption and Government Accountability: An Overview," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-152, Boston University - Department of Economics.
- David E. M. Sappington & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1987.
"Privatization, Information and Incentives,"
NBER Working Papers
2196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ebel, Robert D. & Yilmaz, Serdar, 2002. "On the measurement and impact of fiscal decentralization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2809, The World Bank.
- repec:sae:ecolab:v:16:y:2006:i:2:p:1-2 is not listed on IDEAS
- Bahl, Roy & Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge, 2006.
"Sequencing fiscal decentralization,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
3914, The World Bank.
- Abram Bergson, 1954. "On the Concept of Social Welfare," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(2), pages 233-252.
- Nikolay Nenovsky & S. Statev, 2006. "Introduction," Post-Print halshs-00260898, HAL.
- Richard Arena & Agnès Festré, 2006. "Introduction," Chapters, in: Knowledge, Beliefs and Economics, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
- Alan H. Peters & Peter S. Fisher, 2002. "State Enterprise Zone Programs: Have They Worked?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number sezp, November.
- Cremer, Jaques & Estache, Antonio & Seabright, Paul & DEC, 1994. "The decentralization of public services : lessons from the theory of the firm," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1345, The World Bank.
- Robin Boadway & Anwar Shah, 2007. "Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers : Principles and Practice," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7171.
- Boadway, Robin & Roberts, Sandra & Shah, Anwar, 1994. "The reform of fiscal systems in developing and emerging market economies : a federalism perspective," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1259, The World Bank.
- M. Ruth & K. Donaghy & P. Kirshen, 2006. "Introduction," Chapters, in: Regional Climate Change and Variability, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
- Roy Bahl, 1999.
"Implementation Rules For Fiscal Decentralization,"
International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU
paper9803, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
- Roy Bahl, 1999. "Implementation Rules For Fiscal Decentralization," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper9901, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
- Olson, Mancur, Jr, 1969. "The Principle of "Fiscal Equivalence": The Division of Responsibilities among Different Levels of Government," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 479-87, May.
- Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
- Timothy J. Bartik, 2003. "Local Economic Development Policies," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 03-91, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
- Pranab Bardhan, 2002. "Decentralization of Governance and Development," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 185-205, Fall.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4503. 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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.