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Fiscal decentralization and regional disparities: evidence from several European Union countries

Roberto Ezcurra () and Pedro Pascual Arzoz

Environment and Planning A, 2008, vol. 40, issue 5, 1185-1201

Abstract: This paper investigates for the first time the relationship between fiscal decentralization and regional disparities in a set of European Union countries. Our findings reveal that the devolution of fiscal power to subnational governments is negatively correlated with the level of regional inequality within the sample countries. Therefore, the processes of fiscal decentralization may contribute to a more balanced distribution of resources across space, making up for the central government’s loss of redistributive power. In fact, this result is robust to the inclusion of additional explanatory variables in the analysis, and to the choice of the measure used to quantify the degree of dispersion in the spatial distribution of per capita income.

Date: 2008
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