Decentralization: Operationalization and measurement model

Boris Morozov (School of Public Administration, University of Nebraska at Omaha)

International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior

ISSN: 1093-4537

Publication date: 1 March 2016


Decentralization has been a continual focus of attention of both scholars and practitioners for more than half a century. Even though there is a general agreement on what decentralization is, there is no consensus about how it should be measured. This article builds on the existing body of literature that specifies three major dimensions of decentralization: political, administrative, and economic. The article offers a measurement model that unifies these dimensions in a meaningful manner that allows for comparison across countries. The proposed model is then empirically tested using confirmatory factor analysis of a data set of 37 countries over the period 2000-2009. This factor analysis reveals that there are, in fact, only two dimensions of the decentralization process. The newly developed modelʼs index illustrates that the conceptually challenging processes of decentralization can be accurately measured and analyzed. The index can be used for hypothesis testing of the causality role of decentralization.


Morozov, B. (2016), "Decentralization: Operationalization and measurement model", International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 275-307.

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