Cookies?
Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Decentralization of health and education in developing countries: a quality-adjusted review of the empirical literature

Channa, Anila and Faguet, Jean-Paul (2016) Decentralization of health and education in developing countries: a quality-adjusted review of the empirical literature. World Bank Research Observer, 31 (2). pp. 199-241. ISSN 0257-3032

[img]
Preview
PDF - Accepted Version
Download (941kB) | Preview

Identification Number: 10.1093/wbro/lkw001

Abstract

We review empirical evidence on the ability of decentralization to enhance preference matching and technical efficiency in the provision of health and education in developing countries. Many influential surveys have found that the empirical evidence of decentralization's effects on service delivery is weak, incomplete, and often contradictory. Our own unweighted reading of the literature concurs. However, when we organize quantitative evidence first by substantive theme, and then—crucially—by empirical quality and the credibility of its identification strategy, clear patterns emerge. Higher-quality evidence indicates that decentralization increases technical efficiency across a variety of public services, from student test scores to infant mortality rates. Decentralization also improves preference matching in education, and can do so in health under certain conditions, although there is less evidence for both. We discuss individual studies in some detail. Weighting by quality is especially important when quantitative evidence informs policy-making. Firmer conclusions will require an increased focus on research design, and a deeper examination into the prerequisites and mechanisms of successful reforms.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://wbro.oxfordjournals.org/
Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
JEL classification: H - Public Economics > H4 - Publicly Provided Goods > H41 - Public Goods
H - Public Economics > H7 - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations > H75 - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
H - Public Economics > H7 - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations > H77 - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism; Secession
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development
Sets: Departments > International Development
Collections > Economists Online
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2017 15:40
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2019 01:35
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/68719

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics