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Can decentralization help address poverty and social exclusion in Europe?

Tselios, Vassilis and Rodriguez-Pose, Andres ORCID: 0000-0002-8041-0856 (2022) Can decentralization help address poverty and social exclusion in Europe? Territory, Politics, Governance. ISSN 2162-2671

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Identification Number: 10.1080/21622671.2022.2098174


Poverty reduction and the tackling of social exclusion are overarching goals of development and welfare policies. This paper explores the extent to which decentralization contributes to poverty and social exclusion alleviation in European countries and regions. We find evidence that increases in central government transfers of political, administrative and fiscal authority to subnational tiers of government reduce poverty and address social exclusion at the national level. This, however, mainly happens in countries with a high degree of governance quality and, fundamentally, in urban areas. The link between decentralization and poverty and social exclusion alleviation is more uniform at the regional level, as greater regional autonomy is connected to lower poverty and social exclusion, regardless of the quality of regional government. Hence, when regional governments have the capacity to design their own independent policies, a reduction of poverty and social exclusion and improvements in well-being generally ensue.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 Regional Studies Association
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
JEL classification: H - Public Economics > H1 - Structure and Scope of Government > H11 - Structure, Scope, and Performance of Government
H - Public Economics > H5 - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies > H53 - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I3 - Welfare and Poverty > I32 - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
R - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics > R1 - General Regional Economics > R11 - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, and Changes
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2022 12:45
Last Modified: 24 May 2024 05:54

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