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Fiscal federalism and foreign transfers: does inter-jurisdictional competition increase foreign aid effectiveness?

  • Lessmann, Christian
  • Markwardt, Gunther

This paper empirically studies the impact of decentralization and inter-jurisdictional competition on foreign aid effectiveness. For this purpose we examine a commonly used empirical growth model, considering different measures of fiscal decentralization. Our panel estimations reveal that expenditure decentralization and inter-jurisdictional competition - reflected by the degree of tax revenue decentralization - negatively impact aid effectiveness. We therefore conclude that donor countries should carefully consider how both anti-poverty instruments - foreign assistance and decentralization - work together.

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Paper provided by Dresden University of Technology, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics in its series Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics with number 10/10.

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Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:tuddps:1010
Contact details of provider: Postal: 01062 Dresden
Phone: ++49 351 463 2196
Fax: ++49 351 463 7739
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  1. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Mastruzzi, Massimo, 2009. "Governance matters VIII : aggregate and individual governance indicators 1996-2008," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4978, The World Bank.
  2. Pranab Bardhan, 2002. "Decentralization of Governance and Development," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 185-205, Fall.
  3. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:114:y:1999:i:1:p:83-116 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Michael Clemens & Steven Radelet & Rikhil Bhavnani, 2004. "Counting Chickens When They Hatch: The Short-term Effect of Aid on Growth," Working Papers 44, Center for Global Development.
  5. Jeremy Edwards & Michael Keen, 1994. "Tax competition and Leviathon," IFS Working Papers W94/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. Chang, Charles C. & Fernandez-Arias, Eduardo & Serven, Luis, 1999. "Measuring aid flows : a new approach," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2050, The World Bank.
  7. Luis Angeles & Kyriakos C Neanidis, 2006. "Aid Effectiveness: The Role of the Local Elite," Working Papers 2007_01, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow, revised Dec 2006.
  8. Swaroop, Vinaya & Jha, Shikha & Sunil Rajkumar, Andrew, 2000. "Fiscal effects of foreign aid in a federal system of governance: The case of India," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 307-330, September.
  9. Lessmann, Christian & Markwardt, Gunther, 2008. "One size fits all? Decentralization, corruption, and the monitoring of bureaucrats," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 14/08, Dresden University of Technology, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
  10. Zodrow, George R. & Mieszkowski, Peter, 1986. "Pigou, Tiebout, property taxation, and the underprovision of local public goods," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 356-370, May.
  11. G. Gulsun Arikan, 2004. "Fiscal Decentralization: A Remedy for Corruption?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 175-195, 03.
  12. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Mastruzzi, Massimo, 2007. "Governance Matters VI: Aggregate and Individual Governance Indicators, 1996-2006," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4280, The World Bank.
  13. Boone, Peter, 1996. "Politics and the effectiveness of foreign aid," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 289-329, February.
  14. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
  16. C-J. Dalgaard & H. Hansen, 2001. "On Aid, Growth and Good Policies," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6), pages 17-41.
  17. David Roodman, 2004. "The Anarchy of Numbers: Aid, Development, and Cross-country Empirics," Development and Comp Systems 0412003, EconWPA.
  18. Oates, Wallace E., 1993. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Development," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(2), pages 237-43, June.
  19. Iimi, Atsushi, 2005. "Decentralization and economic growth revisited: an empirical note," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 449-461, May.
  20. Hristos Doucouliagos & Martin Paldam, 2009. "The Aid Effectiveness Literature: The Sad Results Of 40 Years Of Research," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 433-461, 07.
  21. Lessmann, Christian & Markwardt, Gunther, 2012. "Aid, Growth and Devolution," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1723-1749.
  22. Mark McGillivray & Simon Feeny & Niels Hermes & Robert Lensink, 2006. "Controversies over the impact of development aid: it works; it doesn't; it can, but that depends …," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(7), pages 1031-1050.
  23. William Easterly, 2003. "Can Foreign Aid Buy Growth?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 23-48, Summer.
  24. Muhammed Islam, 2005. "Regime changes, economic policies and the effect of aid on growth," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(8), pages 1467-1492.
  25. George Economides & Sarantis Kalyvitis & Apostolis Philippopoulos, 2008. "Does foreign aid distort incentives and hurt growth? Theory and evidence from 75 aid-recipient countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 134(3), pages 463-488, March.
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