Measuring Decentralization and the Local Public Sector: A Survey of Current Methodologies

Research Report

Measuring Decentralization and the Local Public Sector: A Survey of Current Methodologies

Abstract

This short note provides an overview of the current and previous attempts to systematically measure -and collect data on- the scope and nature of (political, administrative and fiscal) decentralization in countries around the world. Despite the considerable quantity of scholarship devoted to the investigation of the causes and effects of decentralization, the current efforts to collect data on the various aspects of decentralization and local governance have not given rise to a single authoritative methodology. This void in the data with regard to decentralization provides policy makers and the research community with a considerably incomplete patchwork of information regarding decentralization, rather than resulting in a single, consistent and robust dataset regarding the depth and breadth of decentralization in countries around the world.

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