The IMF Research Bulletin, a quarterly publication, selectively summarizes research and analytical work done by various departments at the IMF, and also provides a listing of research documents and other research-related activities, including conferences and seminars. The Bulletin is intended to serve as a summary guide to research done at the IMF on various topics, and to provide a better perspective on the analytical underpinnings of the IMF’s operational work.
Based on cross-country data for up to 78 countries, this paper shows that fiscal decentralization-the assignment of expenditure and revenue mobilization functions to subnational levels of government-is associated with various indicators of governance, such as corruption, rule of law, and government effectiveness. Unlike previous studies in the decentralization/governance literature, which focus primarily on expenditure-based measures of decentralization, the results reported in this paper show that the relationship between decentralization and governance depends on how subnational expenditures are financed. The higher the share in total subnational revenues of nontax revenues and grants and transfers from higher levels of government, the stronger the association between decentralization and governance.