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Centralization and Decentralization of Public Policy in a Complex Framework


  • Maria Rosaria Alfano

    (University of Salerno)


The public economic literature of the past century is characterized by a traditional paradigm that ascribes little attention to the spatial dimension. However, contemporary globalization requires that researchers and economists expand their perspectives to consider space conceptualization. What is required in the 21st century is a richer and more realistic framework that broadens existing con-cepts of socio- economic analysis while overcoming narrow national borders. Although national governments will remain prominent performers in the global market, regional and local govern-ments cannot be ignored because citizens worldwide are exerting greater self-determination in in- fluencing governmental decisions. This paper is focused on investigating the possibility of implementing a new methodology for ana-lyzing the evolution of fiscal processes and evaluating the usefulness of new optimizing procedures for the governance of decentralization. The first section of the paper explores both positive and normative issues related to centralization and decentralization in a globalized framework as well as the fundamental role of increased interdependence in power sharing among jurisdictions. In the second section, Kauffman’s (1993) contributions are examined as a means of determining if the topography of the landscape ought to be considered when combining conflicting centralization and decentralization processes. Finally, this paper concludes with an exploration of how a form of in-termediate coordination between fully centralized and fully decentralized systems could provide the best outcome.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria Rosaria Alfano, 2005. "Centralization and Decentralization of Public Policy in a Complex Framework," Public Economics 0510017, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0510017
    Note: Type of Document - doc; pages: 22

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    More about this item


    Centralization; Decentralization; Coordination; Complex systems;

    JEL classification:

    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • H - Public Economics

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