SPECIAL ISSUE
CONTENTS
  • Section A) The theory and practise of the federal states and multi-level systems of government
  • Section B) Global governance and international organizations
  • Section C) Regional integration processes
  • Section D) Federalism as a political idea
  • Smith Heidi Jane M., Revell Keith D.
    Micro-Incentives and Municipal Behavior: Political Decentralization and Fiscal Federalism in Argentina and Mexico
    in World Development , Volume 77, January ,  2016 ,  231-248
    This article analyzes the mixed results of political and fiscal decentralization in Latin America by comparing taxing and spending policies in six cities in Argentina and Mexico. Consistent with previous studies, we find that decentralization has been frustrated by overconcentration of power at the provincial level and large vertical fiscal imbalances, though we characterize these as functional elements in a system of redistributive policy-making that benefits a wide array of provincial and municipal actors. We seek to add a new dimension to the literature by arguing that micro-level incentives (conditions and circumstances particular to specific places) are more important determinants of municipal behavior than macro-level structures (those policy and institutional changes intended to make officials more responsive to local conditions federalism, local elections, intergovernmental transfers, and own-source revenues). We conclude that the theory of decentralization relies on a flawed conception of the causal mechanisms that are hypothesized to create responsiveness in local officials.
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