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Fiscal Federalism


  • 9 b/w illus. 22 tables
  • Page extent: 628 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.96 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521518215)

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 (Stock level updated: 02:09 GMT, 28 November 2015)


This book provides a comprehensive account of the principles and practices of fiscal federalism based on the currently accepted theoretical framework and best practices. The traditional topics of assignment of responsibilities, intergovernmental fiscal arrangements, fiscal competition, and grants are covered in a unified framework with reference to actual practices followed in federations around the world. Special issues such as local government and the implications of natural resource issues are considered along with emerging issues such as governance, corruption, and the effect of globalization and the information revolution on the nation state. The treatment is non-technical and suitable for a wide variety of audiences, including scholars, instructors, students, policy advisors, and practitioners.

• Comprehensive non-technical survey of the principles of fiscal federalism • Discussion of emerging issues in multi-order governance arising from mega change introduced by globalization and the information revolution • Treatment of pressing issues for developing countries as governance, corruption and effective public service delivery


Part I. Design of Fiscal Constitutions: 1. Introduction to federalism and the role of governments in federal economies; 2. The decentralization of government authority; 3. Expenditure assignment; 4. Revenue assignment; 5. Natural resources ownership and management in a federal system; 6. Local governance in theory; 7. Local governance in practice; Part II. Revenue Sharing and Fiscal Transfers: 8. Revenue sharing; 9. The principles of intergovernmental transfers; 10. The practice of intergovernmental fiscal transfers; Part III. Finance and Provision of Public Services: 11. Finance and provision of health and education; 12. Finance and provision of infrastructure; 13. Poverty alleviation in federations; Part IV. Challenges and Responses: 14. Fiscal federalism and macroeconomic governance; 15. Inter-regional competition and policies for regional cohesion and convergence; 16. Decentralized governance and corruption; 17. Adapting to a changing world.


'When it comes to fiscal federalism, Robin Boadway and Anwar Shah together possess what is probably an unbeatable combination of theory, empirical work and field experience around the world. They have now, literally, written the book on this increasingly important subject. The result is a comprehensive and well-written treatment from which both experts and novices will benefit. Anyone who is interested in either the principles or practices of decentralization and fiscal federalism in general or in any specific country will want to consult this book for years to come.' Richard Bird, University of Toronto

'For practitioners in the field of public finance there cannot be a better introduction to the virtues, and vices, of fiscal federalism than this new book by Robin Boadway, a leading public finance theorist, and Anwar Shah, an experienced and thoughtful advisor on fiscal policy. The theory is clearly presented, and there is an abundance of good case studies to support the arguments. Particularly valuable is the authors' wise counsel for how federal governance might handle the challenges of country poverty and macro-economic stability. Fiscal Federalism is highly recommended.' Robert Inman, The Wharton School

'Boadway and Shah have provided the new definitive treatment of the principles of fiscal federalism against a rich background of the actual practice of fiscal decentralization in both industrialized and developing countries. In a systematic and comprehensive treatment, they review and extend the basic theory of regulatory and fiscal institutions in a setting of multilevel government and then explore how all this has played out in practice around the globe. Valuable insights and lessons abound!' Wallace E. Oates, University of Maryland

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