Decentralisation and corruption: evidence across countries

Author(s) : Fishman, R.; Gatti, G.W.

Organization : World Bank

Imprint : Washington, World Bank, 2000

Collation : 24 p.

Series : Policy research working paper, 2290

The relationship between decentralization of government activities and the extent of rent extraction by private parties is an important element in the recent debate on institutional design. The theoretical literature makes ambiguous predictions about this relationship, and it has remained virtually unexamined by empiricists. Fishman and Gatti make a first attempt at examining the issue empirically, by looking at the cross-country relationship between fiscal decentralization and corruption as measured by a number of different indices. Their estimates suggest that fiscal decentralization in government spending is significantly associated with lower corruption. The evidence also suggests a number of areas for future work, including investigating whether there are specific services for which decentralized provision has a particularly strong impact on political rent extraction, and understanding the channels through which decentralization succeeds in keeping corruption in check.

  • Corporate sector, Corruption, Economic and social development, Educational management, Central administration, Decentralization, Finance
  • International