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Book part
Publication date: 14 May 1997

Lynn C. Todman

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Government for the Future
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-852-0

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2007

Wilson Wong

Although the Chinese economy has experienced a strong and rapid growth due to the success of its economic reform, the Chinese central government faces a stern fiscal…

Abstract

Although the Chinese economy has experienced a strong and rapid growth due to the success of its economic reform, the Chinese central government faces a stern fiscal decline. The fiscal problem has undermined the ability of the central government in completing many crucial governing tasks. By examining the institutional root of the fiscal problem, this paper argues that the fiscal decline is part of the ironic corollary of the decentralization strategy of China’s economic reform which produces a “weak center, strong local” outcome. To fully address the problem, China should undertake major institutional reforms to redefine as well as institutionalize the fiscal roles of different levels of government.

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Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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Article
Publication date: 2 January 2018

Xuan Jiang and Sun-hee Choi

The rise of cultural governance has made cultural democracy important in East Asia. South Korea and China have chosen to develop cultural democracy by means of developing…

Abstract

Purpose

The rise of cultural governance has made cultural democracy important in East Asia. South Korea and China have chosen to develop cultural democracy by means of developing community-based cultural houses. Cultural houses in Korea were first managed from the center but have now been decentralized, and those in China have been developed based on local financing and administration. Since central-local intergovernmental relations, as they relate to public culture, have gone untouched in East Asia, the purpose of this paper is to study how central-local intergovernmental relations have impacted the development of cultural democracy in this area, in order to better understand how public culture should be developed.

Design/methodology/approach

A comparative study of the cases of South Korea and China has been used. The materials and information collected for the study were gathered by a review and an analysis of extant literature, policy documents, data and other materials from the relevant departments of both countries. It was also based on semi-structured interviews conducted with the national cultural departments, regulatory institutions, and with officials and scholars.

Findings

This study shows that central-local intergovernmental relations can have an impact on the management of community-based cultural houses and the effectiveness of cultural democracy’s development. Only complete decentralization that directly invites democratization will provide positive local conditions for cultural democracy’s growth. In short, meaningful governmental responses to local demands and a strong civil society are critical for the advancement of cultural democracy.

Practical implications

This study seeks to provide insights into the relationship between central-local intergovernmental relations and cultural democracy. At the micro project level, cultural project management should be improved; at the medium local level, the public must be made part of any decentralization effort; and at the macro national level, the multiple impacts caused by decentralization need to be considered.

Originality/value

This study is unique in terms of both its research questions and its research area. Central-local intergovernmental relations, as they relate to public culture, have gone comparatively untouched, especially in the context of East Asia. It is in this context that studying how central-local intergovernmental relations impact the development of cultural democracy is worthwhile, in order to better understand how public culture has developed and will be developed in future. A comparative study of the cases of South Korea and China has been used to discover the impacts of different dimensions of central-local decentralization on cultural development.

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Asian Education and Development Studies, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-3162

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Book part
Publication date: 18 March 2014

Jari Eloranta, Svetlozar Andreev and Pavel Osinsky

Did the expansion of democratic institutions play a role in determining central government spending behavior in the 19th and 20th centuries? The link between democracy and…

Abstract

Did the expansion of democratic institutions play a role in determining central government spending behavior in the 19th and 20th centuries? The link between democracy and increased central government spending is well established for the post-Second World War period, but has never been explored during the first “wave of democracy” and its subsequent reversal, that is 1870–1938. The main contribution of this paper is the compilation of a dataset covering 24 countries over this period to begin to address this question. Utilizing various descriptive techniques, including panel data regressions, we explore correlations between central government spending and the institutional characteristics of regimes. We find that the data are consistent with the hypothesis that democracies have a broader need for legitimization than autocracies as various measures of democracy are associated with higher central government spending. Our results indicate that the extension of franchise had a slight positive impact on central government spending levels, as did a few of the other democracy variables. We also find that early liberal democracies spent less and monarchies more than other regimes; debt increases spending; and participation in the Gold Standard reduced government spending substantially.

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Central Bank Policy: Theory and Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-751-6

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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2019

Josette Caruana and Kimberly Zammit

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the relationship between control by the Maltese Central Government on Local Government and the format and basis of budgetary and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the relationship between control by the Maltese Central Government on Local Government and the format and basis of budgetary and financial reporting used. The study analyses the role of reporting in agency and fiscal federalism theories.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were carried out with the controller (Central Government officials and the National Audit Office), while a survey was carried out with the controlled (Maltese Local Councils).

Findings

The type of reporting used by Maltese Local Councils may be undermining the control that Central Government seeks to exercise on overspending and debt levels. The Local Councils’ financial statements report accrual deficits and increasing liabilities. This overspending appears to slip through Parliamentary scrutiny because the latter approves cash allocations to Local Councils; the financial reports submitted to Parliament do not highlight overspending in cash terms; and the cash budget execution report that should be prepared by Local Councils is not given due importance.

Originality/value

Central Government should be consistent in its policy towards Local Government, which may require more elaborate reporting. This study highlights the importance of aligning the reporting required (top-down) and the reporting presented (bottom-up) – otherwise, control is at stake.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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Article
Publication date: 14 May 2018

Elona Guga

An attempt will be made to shed light on the course and pattern of the decentralization process by analyzing the historical development of local government and the…

Abstract

Purpose

An attempt will be made to shed light on the course and pattern of the decentralization process by analyzing the historical development of local government and the territorial-administrative reform of 2015-2020 in Albania and the factors that have been shaping it. The scope is to understand the impact of the reform elements on the subnational governments and in general their overall impact on the government. The purpose of this paper is to fill the gap in the existing literature for Albania and at offering some insights on the administrative-territorial reform. Furthermore, it will contribute to the current debate on fiscal decentralization in South Eastern European (SEE) countries and the public management model implemented after the last reforms.

Design/methodology/approach

The first section analyzes the historical development of local government reforms from the 1990s to today and will help to identify if there is instrumentalism advocacy. The second section explains the determinants of the local government’s fiscal autonomy in Albania of the period from 2003 to 2016. Three indicators are used as proxies for fiscal decentralization: the proportion of subnational expenditure over national expenditure, of total subnational revenues over total revenues of central government and the indicator of own subnational revenues over total revenues of the central government. The data from the budget and the revised budgets are then compared.

Findings

Despite Albania’s commitment to decentralize its government functions, there is still work to do. The territorial and administrative reform has not generated the expected results. Almost 90 percent of the revenues still come from the central government’s unconditional transfers. Therefore, the Albanian Government should build capacities and skills, and train the employees of each level of government that currently benefit from international assistance.

Research limitations/implications

The analysis represents a single case study on the territorial-administrative reform in Albania. Its implementation started in 2015 and it is probably too early to discuss outcomes. However, it might be useful to analyze the first results after a two-and-a-half-year period of implementation of reforms. Despite contributing to the existing gap in the literature, additional research will be necessary to better understand the decentralization process not only in Albania, but in all SEE countries.

Practical implications

It is necessary to first understand the lack of initial output, as well as the various challenges faced, in order to take the corrective measures on time.

Originality/value

This paper discusses in detail the reform adopted and the progress made by the Albanian local government units. The reform attempts to develop better relationships between the central and local governments and hence improve their service delivery, transparency and accountability. This paper is the first one that is attempting to analyze the initial output of the territorial-administrative reform of 2015-2020.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Mengzhong Zhang

To boost the fiscal revenue, i.e., government revenue over GDP and central government revenue over government total revenue, China conducted the 1994 fiscal reforms…

Abstract

To boost the fiscal revenue, i.e., government revenue over GDP and central government revenue over government total revenue, China conducted the 1994 fiscal reforms. According to some observers, the results of the initial reforms were mixed. This study reveals, contrary to most examinations of previous studies, the 1994 fiscal reforms have been an enormous success in achieving the original policy purposes, although remaining problems still present a daunting task for the Chinese government. This paper examines the factors triggering the 1994 fiscal reforms, reveals the contents and accomplishments of the reforms, explores unfinished tasks and ultimately proposes some policy implications.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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Book part
Publication date: 18 October 2011

Lennart Erixon

The new economic-policy regime in Sweden in the 1990s included deregulation, central-bank independence, inflation targets and fiscal rules but also active labour market…

Abstract

The new economic-policy regime in Sweden in the 1990s included deregulation, central-bank independence, inflation targets and fiscal rules but also active labour market policy and voluntary incomes policy. This chapter describes the content, determinants and performance of the new economic policy in Sweden in a comparative, mainly Nordic, perspective. The new economic-policy regime is explained by the deep recession and budget crisis in the early 1990s, new economic ideas and the power of economic experts. In the 1998–2007 period, Sweden displayed relatively low inflation and high productivity growth, but unemployment was high, especially by national standards. The restrictive monetary policy was responsible for the low inflation, and the dynamic (ICT) sector was decisive for the productivity miracle. Furthermore, productivity increases in the ICT sector largely explains why the Central Bank undershot its inflation target in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The new economic-policy regime in Sweden performed well during the global financial crisis. However, as in other OECD countries, the moderate increase in unemployment was largely attributed to labour hoarding. And the rapid recovery of the Baltic countries made it possible for Sweden to avoid a bank crisis.

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The Nordic Varieties of Capitalism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-778-0

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Book part
Publication date: 14 May 1997

Lynn C. Todman

Abstract

Details

Government for the Future
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-852-0

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