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The Challenge of Measuring Decentralization

Larry Schroeder & Naomi Aoki  
Many governments throughout the world are either contemplating or engaging in decentralization of fiscal and decision making powers to sub-national governments. But for policy-makers and researchers alike, a question of interest is the extent to which decentralization has actually occurred. Answering this question obviously requires some form of measurement. The paper illustrates the challenges that are faced when attempting to design measures of administrative and fiscal decentralization and suggests how considerable efforts are needed to derive measures that are accurate indicators of the degree of local government administrative and fiscal autonomy.
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