The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
The paper reviews the changing nature of intergovernmental fiscal relations between the provinces and the central government in China over the past two decades and provides an assessment of the success of previous reforms in meeting their objectives. Key existing weaknesses in the current system that undermine these objectives are identified. Alternative instruments, procedures, rules, and incentives that could result in better outcomes are outlined by drawing upon relevant cross-country experiences.