Author ORCID Identifier

Roy Bahl:

Sally Wallace:

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



There is both a horizontal and a vertical dimension to the structure of an intergovernmental transfer (Bahl and Linn, 1992). The vertical share is the total pool of funds to be allocated to subnational governments, while the horizontal shares are the amounts received by individual subnational governments. Most research (and most political attention) is devoted to the latter. The subject of this paper is vertical sharing. We are interested in the question of whether the claim of subnational governments (SNG) on national revenues has been increasing over time. This research paper therefore investigates three issues. The first is the trend and cross-country variation in the level of the vertical share. The second is the range of the practice in vertical sharing. Third, we offer some criteria by which the practice of vertical sharing might be evaluated.


Final manuscript version of a chapter published by Springer in Fiscal Equalization: Challenges in the Design of Intergovernmental Transfers, Jorge Martinez-Vazquez and Bob Searle (Eds.), Springer, 2007.


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