Decentralization of the Socialist State: Intergovernmental Finance in Transition Economies

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Richard Miller Bird, Robert D. Ebel, Christine Wallich
World Bank Publications, 1995 M01 1 - 443 pages
World Bank Discussion Paper No. 271. This study incorporates data from comparable surveys across five African countries--Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Senegal, and Tanzania--to analyze how small and micro enterprises have been positively and negatively affected by policy liberalization schemes. Some grow rapidly by adapting their products, while others stagnate because of import competition and increased self- employment. Comparisons were made between small firms, with 6 to 49 workers, and microenterprises, with fewer than 6. The study suggests a two-pronged strategy: (1) to facilitate widespread participation in microenterprises, broad measures are needed to lower the costs of entry, generate demand for their goods and services, raise the educational level and incomes of the poor, and encourage informal financial institutions; (2) to stimulate growth of potentially dynamic enterprises, well-targeted measures may be appropriate to lower the costs of entry, increase access to credit, and provide demand-driven business services. Also available in French (ISBN 0-8213-3907-0) Stock No. 13907.

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Page 390 - This is in marked contrast to the situation in the United States and in Western Europe where most of the basic research is carried out at the university laboratories.
Page vii - Jorge Martinez-Vazquez is professor of economics and associate director of the Policy Research Center at Georgia State University, He has published numerous journal articles in public finance and has extensive experience in transition and developing economies. Sally Wallace is assistant professor of economics and senior associate at the Policy Research Center at Georgia State University. She specializes in the analysis of federal...
Page 337 - USSR, as republics stopped making transfers to the state, and a similar vulnerability exists today for the Russian Federation. Second, the system is not a system, but a collection of ad hoc, negotiated, nontransparent agreements whose effects are not well understood. The bargaining inherent in this system makes subnational governments highly dependent on the center and creates considerable uncertainty about their fiscal autonomy and responsibilities.
Page 109 - The indebtedness of some localities is striking, stemming from local councils' borrowings for projects under earlier investment plans. (Under the earlier system, repayments due on any borrowings approved under the national credit plan...
Page 395 - Finally, the third argument for national-level taxation of natural resources is that cash-rich subnational governments could lower taxes on local residents and businesses, make cash payments to residents, or provide an exceptionally high level of public services and subsidize business activity within the jurisdiction, which could distort economic choices and reduce national output. In practice however federal countries more often...
Page 41 - Bird, Ebel and Wallich come to the conclusion that, to minimize potential tax distortions, a high degree of national uniformity seems desirable with respect to the corporate income tax and the value added tax. The border controls needed to implement local value added taxes as a national VAT with differential subnational surcharges would impede interjurisdictional trade and likely be impossible to administer effectively. Assigning corporate taxes to subnational governments would raise resource allocation...
Page 7 - ... makes it almost inevitable that hard-pressed local governments will turn to other means of gaining revenue.
Page 228 - At the end of 1993 many local governments still had to contend with laws, policies, rules, and procedures of central control that either predated the...
Page 395 - ... has been put on the allocation of revenues from natural resource taxes. The general consensus among public finance academic experts here is that most revenue from resource taxes should accrue to the federal government. The case for federal taxation of resources is...

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