OECD Economics Department Working Papers

ISSN :
1815-1973 (online)
DOI :
10.1787/18151973
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Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

 

Fiscal Decentralisation and Public Investment

The Experience of Latin America You or your institution have access to this content

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Author(s):
Luiz de Mello
Publication Date
06 Dec 2010
Bibliographic information
No.:
824
Pages
28
DOI
10.1787/5km347r2hhbp-en

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Despite large differences across countries, Latin America’s average investment-to-GDP ratio and the overall quality of infrastructure in the region are relatively low by international comparison. Empirical evidence on the effects of fiscal decentralisation on investment based on a panel of Latin American countries since the late 1990 suggests that fiscal decentralisation discourages Latin American subnational governments from investing (acquiring fixed assets) and that lower subnational spending on investment is associated with lower economy-wide gross fixed capital formation. Latin American countries will therefore need to face a double challenge of revisiting the current arrangements for decentralised provision that discourage subnational governments from investing, while making the most of decentralisation as a policy lever to raise private investment.
Keywords:
Latin America, public investment, decentralisation
JEL Classification:
  • H54: Public Economics / National Government Expenditures and Related Policies / Infrastructures; Other Public Investment and Capital Stock
  • H77: Public Economics / State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations / Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism; Secession
  • O54: Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth / Economywide Country Studies / Latin America; Caribbean