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Partial Fiscal Decentralization

38 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2007  

Jan K. Brueckner

University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: November 2007


The fiscal decentralization impulse now sweeping the world often leads to partial decentralization, where subnational governments are funded by central transfers, rather than leading to full local autonomy. Despite the practical importance of this arrangement, the literature contains no economic analysis of a partial decentralization regime in a Tiebout-style model. This paper provides such an analysis, relying on the key assumption that public-good provision requires effort on the part of government officials. By choosing different degrees of effort, localities can then provide different public-good levels even when a fixed, common transfer constrains them to spend the same amount. A number of useful results are derived.

JEL Classification: H1, H7

Suggested Citation

Brueckner, Jan K., Partial Fiscal Decentralization (November 2007). CESifo Working Paper No. 2137. Available at SSRN:

Jan K. Brueckner (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics ( email )

3151 Social Science Plaza
Irvine, CA 92697-5100
United States

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679

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