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Fiscal Federalism
Principles and Practice of Multiorder Governance


  • Date Published: May 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521732116

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About the Authors
  • 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
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '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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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521732116
    • length: 630 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 35 mm
    • weight: 0.91kg
    • contains: 9 b/w illus. 22 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    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.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Public Expenditures
  • Authors

    Robin Boadway, Queens University, Canada
    Robin Boadway holds the David Chadwick Smith Chair in Economics at Queen's University, Kingston, Canada. Prior to that he was Sir Edward Peacock Professor of Economics at Queen's, where he has taught virtually all his career. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations, and CESifo. Professor Boadway is a past President of the Canadian Economics Association and is Executive Vice-President of the International Institute for Public Finance (IIPF). He served as a Member of the Academic Panel in the Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF and is currently on the Academic Advisory Council of the IFO Institute in Munich. He has twice received the Harry Johnson Memorial Prize as well as the Queen's University Prize for Research Excellence. He has served as editor of the Canadian Journal of Economics and the German Economic Journal and is currently editor of the Journal of Public Economics. His books include Public Sector Economics, Welfare Economics, Canadian Tax Policy, Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations in Canada, Equalization in a Federal State, and Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers, with Anwar Shah.

    Anwar Shah, The World Bank
    Anwar Shah is Lead Economist and Program Leader, Public Sector Governance Program at the World Bank Institute, Washington, DC. He is a Member of the Executive Board of the International Institute of Public Finance, Munich, Germany, and a Fellow of the Institute for Public Economics, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Dr Shah is also affiliated as Honorary Professor with the Southwest University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu, China, and Central University of Finance and Economics, Beijing, China. He has previously served as a staff member with the Ministry of Finance, the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta, and the U.S. Agency for International Development, and he is a lead author for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Dr Shah was coordinator of the Global Dialogue on Fiscal Federalism conducted by the Forum of Federation in partnership with Governments in Federal Countries from 2005 to 2007. He has advised the governments of Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Pakistan, Poland, South Africa, and Turkey on fiscal system reform issues. In the past, he taught graduate courses in natural resources and environmental economics at the University of Ottawa. He has published about two dozen books on governance and fiscal system reform themes and numerous articles in professional journals. His most recent edited books include The Practice of Fiscal Federalism and Macro Federalism and Local Finance.

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