Local Governments’ Fiscal Balance, Privatization, and Banking Sector Reform in Transition Countries

Local Governments’ Fiscal Balance, Privatization, and Banking Sector Reform in Transition Countries

Several transition economies have undertaken fiscal decentralization reforms over the past two decades along with liberalization, privatization, and stabilization reforms. Theory predicts that decentralization may aggravate fiscal imbalances, unless the right incentives are in place to promote fiscal discipline. This paper uses a panel of 20 transition countries over 19 years to address a central question of fact: Did privatization help to promote local governments’ fiscal discipline? The answer is clearly ‘no’ for privatization considered in isolation. However, privatization and subnational fiscal autonomy along with reforms to the banking system - restraining access to soft financing - may prove effective at improving fiscal balances among local governments.

Local Government Reforms in Countries in Transition

A Global Perspective

Local Government Reforms in Countries in Transition

Local Government Reforms in Countries in Transition explores the impacts that the end of the Cold War and increased globalization have had on government around the world. The decentralization of national governments has led to a greater role for local governments; public administration and democrative representation are the new arena of local governments the world over. Focusing not only on countries from the former Soviet Union, but also on Israel, China, South Africa, and Egypt, the contributors to this volume present a truly global investigation of countries experiencing governmental transformation.

Land Reform and Farm Restructuring in Transition Countries

The Experience of Bulgaria, Moldova, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan

Land Reform and Farm Restructuring in Transition Countries

In the past fifteen years, most countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States have shifted from predominantly collective to more individualized agriculture. These years also have witnessed the largest fall in agricultural production, yields, and rural employment on record, while the deterioration and dissolution of collective and state farms have been accompanied by a significant drop in rural public services. Land Reform and Farm Restructuring provides a structured and comparative review of important aspects of land reform and documents important differences in policies between countries to examine why the reforms have not yet lived up to their potential. It is based on data from farm and household surveys and interviews conducted in 2003 and 2004. Case studies from Bulgaria, Moldova, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan - countries that have had particular difficulties in land reform, farm restructuring, farm performance, or rural poverty - each highlight a central conundrum about land reform and farm restructuring. The paper concludes with some implications for policy.

Decentralization and Local Democracy in the World

First Global Report by United Cities and Local Governments 2008

Decentralization and Local Democracy in the World

'Decentralization and Local Democracy in the World' constitutes a global reference on decentralization by presenting the contemporary situation of local governments in all regions of the world. The report analyzes local authorities in each continent under three main themes: the evolution of territorial structures; responsibilities and power, management and finances; and local democracy. An additional chapter is dedicated to the governance of large metropolises, where rapid growth presents major challenges, in particular in the fast-developing countries of the South. This report also offers a comparative overview of the different realities concerning the state of decentralization, and how the basic indispensable mechansims for local democracy do, or do not exist in come countries. Relationships between the state and local authorities are evolving toward innovative forms of cooperation. In this context, the role of local authorities in the development of global policies is increasingly recognized. The first Global Observatory on Local Democracy and Decentralization (GOLD) Report is one of the main products of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG). The GOLD Report is the first of what will be a triennial publication. UCLG represents and defends the interests of local governments on the world stage, regardless of the size of the communities they serve. Headquartered in Barcelona, the organization's stated mission is: To be the united voice and world advocate of democratic local self-government, promoting its values, objectives and interests, through cooperation between local governments, and within the wider international community.

Social Sector Reform in Transition Countries

Social Sector Reform in Transition Countries

During the transition process, many existing social sector institutions and policies were significantly eroded and their underlying character changed. As a result, they often do not redistribute to the poorest, nor generally serve the role of facilitating economic change. Social sector reforms have therefore become necessary for reasons of social welfare as well as economic growth. The analysis of eleven transition countries—comprising some of the most advanced as well as some of the poorest transition economies—shows that almost all countries have started to undertake reforms; however, their individual efforts vary. Reform does not only stand for cutting back, but also requires in some cases a building up and in others a redesign of social safety nets; it needs to address insurance issues, budgetary transfer programs, the performance of the health and education sector, as well as the labor market regime and the approach to tax administration.

Intergovernmental Reforms in the Russian Federation

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back?

Intergovernmental Reforms in the Russian Federation

This study is a comprehensive review of fiscal federalism in the Russian Federation. It presents a strong case for greater decentralization. By succinctly surveying the literature on fiscal decentralization and clearly spelling out the main concepts, the volume sets the stage for the subsequent description of the fiscal system in Russia and its evolution through a succession of reforms guided by a desire on the part of Russian policymakers to craft a workable system of fiscal federalism. The authors not only describe the state of fiscal federalism in Russia at its key turning points, but they also provide insightful critical assessments of the reforms introduced at each stage. The book is rich with examples, which makes it an easy and exciting reading. The book's analysis of the history gives perspective to the authors' assessment of the current state of Russia's federalism. The authors make a strong case for greater decentralization in Russia based not only on the traditional economic benefits of fiscal federalism but also on the political benefits from local government competition. The richness of detail and the careful tracing of the reforms over the past nearly two decades also mean that this study will be an invaluable guide to both current observers with academic and policy interest in the recent fiscal federalism reforms as well as Russia's fiscal evolution since the early 1990s and its current fiscal challenges.

Public Sector Reform in Developing and Transitional Countries

Decentralisation and Local Governance

Public Sector Reform in Developing and Transitional Countries

Over recent decades, decentralization has emerged as a key Public Sector Reform strategy in a wide variety of international contexts. Yet, despite its emergence as a ubiquitous activity that cuts across disciplinary lines in international development, decentralization is understood and applied in many different ways by parties acting from contrary perspectives. This book offers a fascinating insight into theory and practice surrounding decentralization activities in the Public Sectors of developing and transitional countries. In drawing on the expertise of established scholars, the book explores the contexts, achievements, progress and challenges of decentralization and local governance. Notably, the contributions contained in this book are genuinely international in nature; the chapters explore aspects of decentralization and local governance in contexts as diverse as Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Tanzania, Uganda, and Viet Nam. In summary, by examining the subject of decentralization with reference to specific developing and transitional Public Sector contexts in which it has been practiced, this book offers an excellent contribution towards a better understanding of the theory and practice of decentralization and local governance in international settings. This book was published as a special double issue of the International Journal of Public Administration.

The Challenge of Fiscal Decentralization in Transition Countries

The Challenge of Fiscal Decentralization in Transition Countries

This paper examines key aspects of the ongoing decentralization process in transition economies and identifies areas where the present systems can have potentially adverse impacts on both service delivery and macroeconomic performance. We discuss three critical principles of a sound and efficient decentralized fiscal system-and then show the contrasts between these and actual trends and policies in transition countries.

Local Democracy in Post-Communist Europe

Local Democracy in Post-Communist Europe

Der englischsprachige Band führt ein in die Lokal- und Regionalpolitik der mittel-osteuropäischen Reformländer. Der Band beleuchtet aktuelle Probleme der Kommunal- und Regionalpolitik in den Ländern Mittel-Osteuropas, einschließlich Russlands. Zentral sind Fragen der Beziehungen zwischen zentraler, regionaler und lokaler Politik- und Verwaltungsebene, der lokalen Demokratie und Partizipation sowie Fragen der Verwaltungsmodernisierung.