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Since the 1980s, the rhetoric of fiscal decentralization has taken root in developing countries. Most developing countries now place the strengthening of subnational government on the development policy agenda. Despite all the pronouncements, plans, and even political promises, however, there has been no rush to grant state and local governments significant taxing powers and increased expenditure autonomy. Perhaps economic conditions have not been right for countries to adopt all-encompassing decentralization schemes, perhaps political freedoms were too new in some cases, or perhaps the idea still takes some getting used to. Whatever the reason, signs that countries are now ready to move forward with implementing fiscal decentralization continue to appear.


(c) 2008 Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. From Ingram, Gregory K., and Yu-hung Hong. Fiscal Decentralization and Land Policies. Edited by Gregory K. Ingram and Yu-hung Hong. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 2008.

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