A necessary condition for the efficiency gains that the theory of fiscal federalism attributes to decentralization to be effective is that citizens rightly assign the governmental responsibility for public action. However, surveys show that most Spaniards are unable to correctly identify the taxes received by the various levels of government. Exploiting the 2015 wave of the Spanish Institute for Fiscal Studies’ Fiscal Barometer, this paper empirically determines the profile of citizens who are best able to identify the allocation of taxes among levels of government in Spain. The estimates suggest that these citizens are those who are able to identify the government that provides the services financed by those taxes, who correctly identify other taxes received by the same government, who reside in a chartered (“foral”) region, and who enjoy a high level of education.
López-Laborda, Julio, Rodrigo, Fernando Rodrigo, and Sanz-Arcega, Eduardo (2021). Do You Know to Whom You Pay Your Taxes?: The Case of Decentralized Spain. International Center for Public Policy Working Paper 21-13. https://icepp.gsu.edu/files/2021/09/21-13-Tax-Visibility-in-Spain.pdf
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