Measuring Fiscal Decentralization : Exploring the IMF’s Databases

Author/Editor:

International Monetary Fund

Publication Date:

June 1, 2011

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate

Summary:

Conventional wisdom postulates that there are benefits from decentralizing government finances but there is little empirical evidence about actual country practices. This paper presents data on fiscal decentralization for about 80 countries over a period of about 20 years (1990-2008) from the IMF’s Government Finance Statistics Yearbook (GFSY), the only global database with fiscal data for several levels of government. The data show that in many countries, revenue collection remains relatively more centralized than expenditures and that employment tends to be concentrated in lower levels of government. Except for transition economies, the levels of decentralization are relatively stable over the time period. The findings are shown by degree of economic development, constitutional power arrangements, and geographic area, broadly confirming key factors identified in the literature as determining the extent of fiscal decentralization.

Series:

Working Paper No. 11/126

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

June 1, 2011

ISBN/ISSN:

9781455263431/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2011126

Price:

$18.00 (Academic Rate:$18.00)

Format:

Paper

Pages:

30

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