Institutions of Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations

Challenges Ahead

image of Institutions of Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations

Intergovernmental fiscal institutions are the overarching framework for relations across government levels. They comprise the constitutional set up of a country; the division of power between government levels; the prevalence of fiscal rules across government levels; intergovernmental budget frameworks; the role of independent bodies such as fiscal councils in shaping fiscal relations; the inter-ministerial organisation of fiscal decision making; and other framework conditions shaping intergovernmental fiscal relations and fiscal policy. This book brings together academics and practitioners dealing with or being involved in shaping the institutions of intergovernmental fiscal relations. It has an interdisciplinary focus and provides insight from various academic or practitioners’ fields: economists, political scientists, budget management specialists and others.



What makes a local government reform successful? The Finnish experience

This chapter discusses and analyses the factors behind successful and failed local government reforms in Finland. The reforms investigated include the municipal merger reform, health care reform and grant system reform, pursued by the Finnish government during 2011-15. The reforms are studied from the reform context, timing, scope and reform design angles. The main observation is that the successful reforms have been prepared by experts and civil servants, and political decision-making became involved only at the last phase. Also, it seems important that a single ministry was in charge of the reform. The failed reforms were tightly steered politically from the beginning, without clear political agreement on the process and target of the reform.


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