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.
Ehtisham Ahmad, Mercedes Garcia-Escribano, José Antonio González Anaya, Ernesto Revilla, Giorgio Brosio, and Ben Lockwood
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
An equalization system ensures that subnational governments can provide similar level of public services at a comparable level of own tax-effort. This paper focuses on the importance of spending needs factors in the design of equalization transfers as well as special purpose transfers-and the role that this could have in setting the agenda for better accountability for recipient governments, illustrating both design and implementation questions with examples from Mexico. The paper also takes into account the difficult political economy constraints to reforming any system of transfers.