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Does Decentralization Enhance Service Delivery and Poverty Reduction?

Edited by Ehtisham Ahmad, London School of Economics, UK, Chinese Academy of Fiscal Science and Zhejiang University, China and Giorgio Brosio, Department of Economics and Statistics, University of Turin, Italy
Does decentralization enhance service delivery and poverty reduction? Drawing on cutting edge research, expert contributors address this fundamental question facing policy-makers in developing as well as advanced countries. This timely book builds upon insights on the recent developments in the intergovernmental literature first outlined in the Handbook of Fiscal Federalism. New empirical evidence from across the globe is presented: policy-oriented chapters evaluate fiscal federalism with an emphasis on the effectiveness of decentralized service delivery, the decentralization process in different parts of the world is appraised, and specially commissioned research focuses on the political economy process and the outcomes of the decentralization process. The role of international agencies, as explicit donors, is examined in several chapters.
Extent: 416 pp
Hardback Price: $184.00 Web: $165.60
Publication Date: 2009
ISBN: 978 1 84844 552 9
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Does decentralization enhance service delivery and poverty reduction? The expert contributors to this book address this fundamental question faced by policymakers and scholars in developing and advanced countries. The book illustrates that it is equally important for international agencies as well as bilateral donors to provide advice and assistance on decentralization that effectively supports poverty reduction.

The volume builds on insights from the recent, political economy developments in the intergovernmental literature reviewed in the Handbook of Fiscal Federalism, and presents new empirical evidence on the effects of decentralization in different parts of the world. Policy-oriented papers evaluating the effectiveness of decentralized service delivery are presented. The role of institutions and the importance of sequencing of policies in ensuring effective outcomes are also considered.

The volume presents some insightful empirical studies of the decentralization process from Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Africa. With a detailed empirical analysis of effective outcomes of public policies implemented at the sub-national level, and a focus on method, this book will be of great interest to academics specializing in public sector economics and public finance, and to national and international policymakers.
Contributors: E. Ahmad, P. Bardhan, R. Birner, G. Brosio, S. Devarajan, M. Gonzalez, G. Inchauste, M. Jakubowski, S. Khemani, L. Liu, B. Lockwood, J.-P. Platteau, S. Shah, A. Solé-Ollé, I. Topińska, J. von Braun, M. Waibel
Contents:

Preface

1. Does Decentralization Enhance Service Delivery and Poverty Reduction?
Ehtisham Ahmad and Giorgio Brosio

PART I: POSITIVE APPROACHES
2. Information Distortion, Elite Capture and Task Complexity in Decentralized Development
Jean-Philippe Platteau

3. Governance Dilemmas in Service Delivery
Pranab Bardhan

4. Political Economy Approaches to Fiscal Decentralization
Ben Lockwood

5. The Politics of Partial Decentralization
Shantayanan Devarajan, Stuti Khemani and Shekhar Shah

PART II: WHAT DO WE KNOW?
6. What Do We Know? Evidence on Decentralization and Local Service Provision
Ehtisham Ahmad and Giorgio Brosio

7. Decentralization in Bolivia: Has it Made a Difference?
Gabriela Inchauste

8. Uganda: Managing More Effective Decentralization
Ehtisham Ahmad, Giorgio Brosio and Maria Gonzalez

9. The Impact of Decentralization on Education in Poland
Maciej Jakubowski and Irena Topińska

10. Evaluating the Effects of Decentralization on Public Service Delivery: The Spanish Experience
Albert Solé-Ollé

PART III: SELECTED NORMATIVE AND POLICY ISSUES
11. Decentralization and Public Service Provision – A Framework for Pro-poor Institutional Design
Regina Birner and Joachim von Braun

12. Fiscal Policy Instruments and the Political Economy of Designing Programs to Reach the Poorest
Ehtisham Ahmad

13. Subnational Insolvency and Governance: Cross-country Experiences and Lessons
Lili Liu and Michael Waibel

Index