Democracy, Decentralisation and Deficits in Latin America

OECD Development Centre

What is the impact of political decentralisation in Latin America? This book considers the problems raised by political decentralisation in the region and identifies the challenges ahead. Political decentralisation tends to devolve a certain amount of financial responsibility to the sub-national levels of government, hence potentially destabilising centrally established fiscal and budgetary targets. The question is, thus, a particularly timely one which seeks to reconcile enhanced democratisation with the fiscal rigour demanded by the international marketplace.

This book brings together papers presented at the eighth annual meeting of the "International Forum on Latin American Perspectives", sponsored jointly by the OECD Development Centre and the Inter-American Development Bank. The analyses of economic experts are confronted with the real-life experiences of practitioners from a number of Latin American countries, providing the reader with a stimulating exposé of the risks and benefits to economic development of the new decentralising trend. Of particular interest are the so-called "ten commandments" suggested by Ricardo Hausmann as a set of rules which should govern fiscal management in decentralised democracies. Discussion of these and other propositions makes for a lively, yet soundly based contribution to this very important debate.

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