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Qualitative Indicators

This note contains the documentation on the database of Qualitative Decentralization Indicators that have been collected from various sources. Included are some useful tables on availability and the types of indicators included as well as some guidance on how to use and how not to use the indicators.

Download dataset and documentation. [xls 190K]
Contents:

How to Access the Data                                                  

The data can be downloaded as an excel file from this web page at the top of the document

Examples of Indicators                                                    

The following provides some examples of the data for individual countries in each of the categories:
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Expenditure Assignment                                                    

The data tables show which government levels are responsible for the different functions (setting the amount, determining the structure, executing and supervising) relating to the services that the government delivers (housing, nutrition programs, primary and preschool education etc.) The example below shows the Czech Republic:

Expenditure Assignment in the Czech Republic

Click here for the Word version of this table.

For instance, the universities are completely controlled by the central government, while the responsibility for primary schools is shared between the central government and local governments. The local governments run the school but have to comply with the structure and total amount to be spent that is determined in collaboration with the central government.

When it is possible and not obvious from the already included information, it is indicated at which level the main responsibility for the delivery of the particular service lies. For instance, while all responsibilities for the hospitals are shared, the main responsibility lies with the central government. This entry was added, since it is often the only information available.

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Revenue Assignment                                                                             

The data tables show which government levels are responsible for the different functions (setting the instrument, setting the rate, administrating the tax) as well as whether it is a shared/a piggybacked tax or neither. It is shown for most common types of taxes that are relevant at the sub-national level. The example below shows the case of Pakistan:

1 In some countries, it has been reported that the one level of government determines all the instruments, sets all the bases, all the rates or collects all taxes. In those cases, it is reported in this column.
/2 When a percentage is reported in the Shared/Piggybacked entry, it is a shared tax and the percentage indicates
the local governments' share.
/3 Other than agricultural income.

Click here for the Word version of this table.

The shared/piggybacked category will show whether the tax is shared (i.e. the revenue is shared among the different government levels) or piggybacked (i.e. lower governments apply a surcharge on an already existing tax), and if it is a shared tax the sub-national governments' share will be indicated.

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Regulatory Framework for Sub-national Borrowing                         

The regulatory framework ensures prudent borrowing behavior of sub-national governments, limits the moral hazard problem, and creates confidence among the lenders. The arrangements vary widely across countries, but the dataset provides some useful perspectives on the regulation. The example below shows the case of Denmark.

Regulatory Framework for Sub-national Borrowing in Denmark

/1 Categories for sub-national borrowing controls:

  • Market Discipline
  • Cooperative Control
  • Administrative Control
  • Rule based control
  • Borrowing Prohibited

Click here for the Word version of this table.

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Characteristics of the Transfer System                                                 

The transfer system is the most complicated part to describe, since it is usually comprised by a number of programs, and each of these programs are described separately. The data describes in detail how the divisible pool, i.e. the total amount spent, is calculated and how the funds are distributed.

When possible, the data describes shared taxes as well as transfers. The two are very similar in that both are almost always sub-national governments funding which is controlled by the higher level of government.

Click here to see the example in Colombia.

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Coverage of the Indicators                                                                

The table below shows which countries are represented the four categories:

  • Expenditure assignment
  • Revenue assignment
  • Regulatory framework for sub-national borrowing
  • Characteristics of the transfer system

An "X" indicates that the country is represented. A number indicates the number of countries represented. Please note that the fact that a country is represented does not mean that all questions have been answered. Often, only sparse information on a country is available.

Coverage of qualitative decentralization indicators

 

Expenditure assignment

Revenue assignment

Regulatory framework for sub-national borrowing

Characteristics of the transfer system

         

Total

40

31

68

37

         

East Asia and the Pacific

2

2

5

2

China

X

X

X

X

Indonesia

 

X

X

X

Korea

   

X

 

Thailand

   

X

 

Vietnam

X

 

X

 
         

Europe and Central Asia

11

8

20

7

Albania

X

 

X

 

Armenia

   

X

 

Azerbaijan

   

X

 

Belarus

   

X

 

Bosnia/Herzegovina

X

X

   

Bulgaria

X

X

X

X

Czech Republic

X

X

X

X

Estonia

X

X

X

X

Georgia

   

X

 

Hungary

X

X

X

X

Kazakhstan

   

X

 

Kyrgyz Republic

   

X

 

Latvia

X

X

X

X

Lithuania

X

X

X

X

Poland

   

X

 

Romania

   

X

 

Russian Federation

X

X

X

X

Slovenia

   

X

 

Tajikistan

   

X

 

Turkmenistan

X

     

Ukraine

X

 

X

 

Uzbekistan

   

X

 
         

Latin America and the Caribbean

19

15

19

21

Argentina

X

X

X

X

Bahamas

   

X

X

Bolivia

X

X

X

 

Brazil

X

X

X

X

Chile

X

 

X

X

Colombia

X

X

X

X

Costa Rica

X

X

X

X

Dominican republic

X

 

X

X

Ecuador

X

X

X

X

El Salvador

X

 

X

X

Guatemala

X

X

X

X

Guyana

     

X

Honduras

X

X

X

X

Mexico

X

X

X

X

Nicaragua

 

X

X

X

Panama

X

X

X

X

Paraguay

X

X

 

X

Peru

X

X

X

X

Suriname

X

   

X

Trinidad and Tobago

X

 

X

X

Uruguay

X

X

X

X

Venezuela

X

X

X

X

         

Middle East and Northern Africa

2

2

0

1

Morocco

X

X

   

Tunisia

X

X

 

X

         

OECD

3

1

20

3

Australia

   

X

 

Austria

   

X

 

Belgium

   

X

X

Canada

   

X

 

Denmark

X

X

X

X

Finland

   

X

 

France

X

 

X

 

Germany

   

X

 

Greece

   

X

 

Ireland

   

X

 

Italy

   

X

 

Japan

   

X

 

Netherlands

   

X

 

Norway

   

X

 

Portugal

X

 

X

X

Spain

   

X

 

Sweden

   

X

 

Switzerland

   

X

 

United Kingdom

   

X

 

United States

   

X

 
         

South Asia

2

2

2

2

India

X

X

X

X

Pakistan

X

X

X

X

         

Sub-Saharan Africa

1

1

2

1

Ethiopia

   

X

 

South Africa

X

X

X

X

 

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Sources for the Qualitative Decentralization Indicators                   

Sources for Expenditure Assignment

Inter-American Development Bank (1997): "Latin America After a Decade of Reforms" is a source for all represented Latin American and Caribbean countries.

Bird and Vaillancourt (1998): "Fiscal Decentralization in Developing Countries" is a source for Argentina, China, India, Morocco, Pakistan, South Africa and Tunisia.

OECD (1999) and (2000) "Survey for Fiscal Design Across Levels of Government", various country reports are sources for Czech Rep., Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia and Lithuania.

In addition:

Chile

Human Development Report (1993), Ch. 4: "People and Governance"

Morocco

Human Development Report (1993), Ch. 4: "People and Governance"

Russia

Freinkman and Yossifov (1999), "Decentralization in Regional Fiscal Systems in Russia." WB Policy Research Working Paper WPS 2100

South Africa

Bahl, R. "Fiscal Decentralization: Lessons for South Africa"

Vietnam

Vietnam Public Expenditure Review (2000), Ch. 5, draft

Sources for Revenue Assignment

Inter-American Development Bank (1997): "Latin America After a Decade of Reforms" is a source for all represented Latin American and Caribbean countries.

Ter-Minassian, Teresa (1997): "Fiscal federalism in theory and practice", IMF (1997) is a source for Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Kazachstan, Korea, Kyrgyz Rep., Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, South Africa, Tajikistan, Thailand, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

OECD (1999) and (2000) "Survey for Fiscal Design Across Levels of Government", various country reports are sources for Czech Rep., Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia and Lithuania.

Bird and Vaillancourt (1998): "Fiscal Decentralization in Developing Countries" is a source for Argentina, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Morocco, Pakistan, South Africa and Tunisia.

In addition:

India

Singh, M. G. and N. Singh (2000): " The Political Economy of Center-State Fiscal Transfers in India"

Indonesia

Shah, A. and Zia Qureshi: "Intergovernmental Fiscal relations in Indonesia – Issues and Reform Options"

South Africa

Bahl, R. "Fiscal Decentralization: Lessons for South Africa"

Sources for Regulation of Sub-national Borrowing

Inter-American Development Bank (1997): "Latin America After a Decade of Reforms" is a source for all represented Latin American and Caribbean countries.

Ter-Minassian, Teresa (1997): "Fiscal federalism in theory and practice", IMF (1997) is a source for Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Kazachstan, Korea, Kyrzyg Rep., Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, South Africa, Tajikistan, Thailand, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

OECD (1999) and (2000) "Survey for Fiscal Design Across Levels of Government", various country reports are sources for Czech Rep., Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia and Lithuania.

Bird and Vaillancourt (1998): "Fiscal Decentralization in Developing Countries" is a source for Argentina, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, and South Africa.

In addition:

Indonesia

Shah, A. and Zia Qureshi: "Intergovernmental Fiscal relations in Indonesia – Issues and Reform Options"

World Bank (2000): "Indonesia: Public Spending in a Time of Change", Rep. No. 19845-IND

Vietnam

Vietnam Public Expenditure Review (2000), Ch. 5, draft

Sources for Characteristics of the Transfer Systems

Inter-American Development Bank (1997): "Latin America After a Decade of Reforms" is a source for all represented Latin American and Caribbean countries.

Ter-Minassian, Teresa (1997): "Fiscal federalism in theory and practice", IMF (1997) is a source for Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, Mexico, and Russia.

OECD (1999) and (2000) "Survey for Fiscal Design Across Levels of Government", various country reports are sources for Czech Rep., Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia and Lithuania.

Debbie’s paper is a source for all represented ECA countries.

Bird and Vaillancourt (1998): "Fiscal Decentralization in Developing Countries" is a source for Argentina, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, South Africa and Tunisia.

In addition:

India

Rao, M. G. and N. Singh (2000): " The Political Economy of Center-State Fiscal Transfers in India"

Indonesia

Shah, A. and Zia Qureshi: "Intergovernmental Fiscal relations in Indonesia – Issues and Reform Options"

World Bank (2000): "Indonesia: Public Spending in a Time of Change", Rep. No. 19845-IND

Russia

Freinkman and Yossifov (1999), "Decentralization in Regional Fiscal Systems in Russia." WB Policy Research Working Paper WPS 2100

 

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