Does Decentralization Increase Responsiveness to Local Needs? Evidence from Bolivia
MINISTRY OF FINANCE
PRIVATIZATION OF STATE
PUBLIC SERVICE PROVISION
ECONOMIES OF SCALE
SEPARATION OF POWERS
Full recordShow full item record
AbstractSignificant changes in public investment patterns - in both the sectoral uses of funds, and their geographic distribution - emerged after Bolivia devolved substantial resources from central agencies, to municipalities in 1994. By far the most important determinant of these changes are objective indicators of social need (for example, education investment rises where illiteracy is higher). Indicators of institutional capacity, and social organization are less important. Empirical tests using a unique database show that investment changed significantly in education, agriculture, urban development, water management, water and sanitation, and possibly health. These results are robust, and insensitive to specification. As the smallest, poorest municipalities invested newly devolved public funds in their highest priority projects, investment showed a strong, positive relationship with need in agriculture, and the social sectors. In sectors where decentralization did not bring about changes, the central government had invested little before a994, and the local government continued to invest little afterward. These findings are consistent with a model of public investment, in which local government's superior knowledge of local needs, dominates the central government's technical, and organizational advantage in the provision of public services.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Growth without GovernanceKraay, Aart; Kaufmann, Daniel (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-08-01)It is well known that there is a strong positive correlation between per capita incomes and the quality of governance across countries. the authors propose an empirical strategy that allows separation of this correlation into (1) a strong positive causal effect running from better governance to higher per capita incomes, and, perhaps surprisingly at first, (2) a weak and even negative causal effect running in the opposite direction from per capita incomes to governance. The first result confirms existing evidence on the importance of good governance for economic development. The second result is new and suggests the absence of a "virtuous circle" in which higher incomes lead to further improvements in governance. This motivates the authors' choice of title, "Growth Without Governance." They document this evidence using a newly updated set of worldwide governance-indicators covering 175 countries for the period 2000-01, and use the results to interpret the relationship between incomes and governance focusing on the Latin America and Caribbean region-within a worldwide empirical context. Finally, the authors speculate about the potential importance of elite influence and state capture in accounting for the surprising negative effects of per capita incomes on governance, present some evidence on such capture in some Latin American countries, and suggest priorities for actions to improve governance when such pernicious elite influence shapes public policy.
Local Governance in Developing CountriesShah, Anwar (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2012-06-05)This book develops a comparative institutional framework for responsive, responsible, and accountable governance in developing countries. It provides a synthesis of analytical literature on local governance. It traces the historical evolution of local governance and presents a stylized view of alternative models of local governance practiced in various countries. It also presents case studies for 10 countries by leading national and international scholars. The country case studies present an in-depth view of local government organization and finance in each country.
Decentralization and Local Governance in MENA : A Survey of Policies, Institutions, and PracticesWorld Bank (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-08-21)Entering the 21st century, the 1999-2000 World Development Report (WDR), identifies two main forces that are shaping the world in which development policy is being defined and implemented: (i) globalization, the increasing worldwide integration of private sector interaction and commercial relationships; and (ii) localization, a process of devolving fiscal and administrative roles and responsibilities from central to sub-national tiers of government. It goes on to note that these global-private and local-public pressures are not only reinforcing, but also challenging traditional paradigms and forms of intergovernmental systems. Political decentralization, often associated with pluralistic politics and representative government, aims to give citizens more say in public policy and decision-making. Its advocates assume that decisions made with greater participation will be better informed and more relevant to diverse interests in society than those made only by national political authorities. The concept implies that the selection of representatives from local electoral jurisdictions allows citizens to know better their political representatives and allows elected officials to know better the needs and desires of their constituents. Administrative decentralization aims to redistribute authority, responsibility and financial resources for providing public services among different levels of government. It typically takes three forms: de-concentration, delegation and devolution. Fiscal decentralization vests greater autonomy and authority with local governments in matters of fiscal importance, empowering local governments to generate their own revenues, through taxes and user charges, as well as determining their expenditure priorities based on a clear assignment of functions and responsibilities. Over the last two decades, it has been estimated that more than 100 countries, most of them in the developing world, have experimented with various forms of decentralization.