When is policy provision likely to be decentralized?
In the current issue of Governance (23.2, April 2010), Arjan Schakel of the University of Edinburgh uses a new dataset to answer an old question: when is governmental policy provision likely to be decentralized? Schackel’s study of forty European countries demonstrates that decentralization is heavily determined by two functional characteristics of policies — the availability of economies of scale, and the presence of significant externalities from provision — and by the degree of variation in policy preferences among localities. Other factors — such as the extent of democratization, national wealth, and degree of integration into the European Union — play a less significant role. Read more: Explaining Regional and Local Government: An Empirical Test of the Decentralization Theorem.