Conclusion: Toward an Asymmetrical Decentralization Design

  • Evrim Tan
Part of the Public Sector Organizations book series (PSO)


The conclusion discusses the generalizability of the findings from the Turkish case. By doing that, the conclusion argues a certain level of socio-economic development is necessary in order to decentralization theories to hold, and an asymmetrical decentralization design based on provincial socio-economic development can improve the predictability and success of decentralization policies. The conclusion also shares certain policy recommendations to support the effective implementation of asymmetric decentralization arrangements and on capacity building practices in public sector organizations.


Asymmetric decentralization Socio-economic development 


  1. Acemoglu, D., & Robinson, J. (2012). Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty. New York: Crown.Google Scholar
  2. Alibegovic, D. J. (2013). Less Is More: Decentralization in Croatia and Its Impact on Decentralization. In W. Bartlett, S. Malekovic, & V. Monastirioitis (Eds.), Decentralization and Local Development in South East Europe (pp. 51–67). Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alonso, J. M., & Andrews, R. (2018). Fiscal Decentralization and Local Government Efficiency: Does Relative Deprivation Matter? Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space. Available online June 2018.
  4. Bardhan, P. (2002). Decentralization of Governance and Development. Journal of Economic Perspective, 16(4), 185–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barrett, C. B., Mude, A. G., & Omiti, J. M. (2007). Decentralization and Social Economics of Development-Lessons from Kenya. Trowbridge: Cromwell Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bartlett, W., Malekovic, S., & Monastiriotis, V. (2013). Decentralization and Local Development in South East Europe. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bartlett, W., Đulić, K., & Kmezić, S. (2018). The Impact of Fiscal Decentralization on Local Economic Development in Serbia. LSE Papers on Decentralization and Regional Policy (Research Paper No. 7).Google Scholar
  8. Bauböck, R. (2001). Multinational Federalism: Territorial or Cultural Autonomy? Willy Brandt Series of Working Papers in International Migration and Ethnic Relations 2/0. ISSN 1650-5743/Online publication.Google Scholar
  9. Besley, T., & Case, A. (1995). Incumbent Behavior: Vote-Seeking, Tax-Setting and Yardstick Competition. American Economic Review, 85(1), 25–45.Google Scholar
  10. Bird, R. M., & Ebel, R. D. (2006). Fiscal Federalism and National Unity. In A. Ehtisham & G. Brosio (Eds.), Handbook of Fiscal Federalism (pp. 499–521). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  11. Birdsall, N., Ross, D., & Sabot, R. (1995). Inequality and Growth Reconsidered: Lesson from East Asia. World Bank Economic Review, 9(3), 477–508.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bouckaert, G., Loretan, R., & Troupin, S. (2016). Public Administration and the Sustainable Development Goals. Written Statement by the International Institute of Administrative Sciences, Submitted to the 15th Session of the United Nations Committee of Experts in Public Administration.Google Scholar
  13. Burns, J. P. (1987). China’s Nomenklatura System. Problems of Communism, 36, 36–51.Google Scholar
  14. Buser, W. (2011). The Impact of Fiscal Decentralization on Economics Performance in High-Income OECD Nations: An Institutional Approach. Public Choice, 149(1/2), 31–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Charbonneau, É., & Van Ryzin, G. G. (2015). Benchmarks and Citizen Judgments of Local Government Performance: Findings from a Survey Experiment. Public Management Review, 17(2), 288–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Chien, S. (2007). Institutional Innovations, Asymmetric Decentralization, and Local Economic Development: A Case Study of Kunshan, in Post-Mao China. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 25, 269–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Chon, D. S. (2012). The Impact of Population Heterogeneity and Income Inequality on Homicide Rates: A Cross-National Assessment. International Journal Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 56(5), 730–748.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Daly, M., Wilson, M., & Vasdev, S. (2001). Income Inequality and Homicide Rates in Canada and United States. Canadian Journal of Criminology, 43(2), 219–236.Google Scholar
  19. Deininger, K., & Squire, L. (1996). A New Data Set for Measuring Income Equality. World Bank Economic Review, 10, 565–591.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. De la Fuente, M., & Vasquez, G. (2005). Decentralización y derechos humanos en Bolivia. Los Casos de Mizque y Tiquipaya. Geneva: International Council on Human Rights Policy.Google Scholar
  21. Diaz-Cayeros, A., Magaloni, B., & Weingast, B. R. (2005). Tragic Brilliance: Equilibrium Party Hegemony in Mexico (Working Paper). Stanford: Hoover Institution, Stanford University.Google Scholar
  22. Diaz-Serrano, L., & Rodríguez-Pose, A. (2015). Decentralization and the Welfare State: What Do Citizens Perceive? Social Indicators Research, 120(2), 411–435.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Elgar, F. J., & Aitken, N. (2010). Income Inequality, Trust and Homicide in 33 Countries. European Journal of Public Health, 21(2), 241–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Elgar, F. J., Craig, W., Boyce, W., Morgan, A., & Vella-Zarb, R. (2009). Income Inequality and School Bullying: Multilevel Study of Adolescents in 37 Countries. Journal of Adolescent Health, 45, 351–359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Faguet, J.-P. (2001). Does Decentralization Increase Responsiveness to Local Needs? Evidence from Bolivia. Centre for Economic Performance and Development Studies Institute, London School of Economics.Google Scholar
  26. Galasso, E., & Ravallion, M. (2001). Decentralized Targeting of an Anti-Poverty Program. Development Research Group Working Paper, World Bank.Google Scholar
  27. Heilmann, S., & Kirchberger, S. (2000). The Chinese Nomenklatura in Transition: A Study Based on Internal Cadre Statistics of the Central Organization Department of the Chinese Communist Party. Trier: Trier University.Google Scholar
  28. Hellman, J., Hofman, B., Kaise, K., & Schulze, G. G. (2003). Decentralization, Governance, and Public Services: An Assessment of Indonesian Experience. Jakarta: The World Bank.Google Scholar
  29. Hermann, B., Thöni, C., & Gächter, S. (2008). Antisocial Punishment Across Societies. Science, 319, 1362–1367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hodge, A., Firth, S., Jimenez-Soto, E., & Trisnantoro, L. (2015). Linkages Between Decentralization and Inequalities in Neonatal Health: Evidence from Indonesia. The Journal of Development Studies, 51(12), 1634–1652.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Holzhacker, R. L., Wittek, R., & Woltjer, J. (2016). Decentralization and Governance in Indonesia. London: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hsieh, C., & Pugh, M. (1993). Poverty, Income Inequality, and Violent Crime: A Meta-Analysis of Recent Aggregate Data Studies. Criminal Justice Review, 18(2), 182–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Huang, Y. (1996). Inflation and Investment Control in China: The Political Economy of Central-Local Relations During the Reform Era. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Huang, Y. (2002). Managing Chinese Bureaucrats: an Institutional Economic Perspective. Political Studies, 50, 61–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Jin, H., Qian, Y., & Weingast, B. R. (2005). Regional Decentralization and Fiscal Incentives: Federalism, Chinese Style. Journal of Public Economics, 89, 1719–1742.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Jovanović, M. N. (2009). Evolutionary Economic Geography: Location of Production and the European Union. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  37. Knutsson, H., Ramberg, U., & Tagesson, T. (2012). Benchmarking Impact Through Municipal Benchmarking Networks. Public Performance & Management Review, 36(1), 102–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Krugman, P. R. (1991). Geography and Trade. Leuven: Leuven University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Kuhlmann, S., & Bogumil, J. (2018). Performance Measurement and Benchmarking as “Reflexive Institutions” for Local Governments: Germany, Sweden and England Compared. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 31(4), 543–562.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kuhlman, S., & Bouckaert, G. (2016). Local Public Sector Reforms in Times of Crisis: National Trajectories and International Comparisons. The Governance and Public Management Series. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  41. Lessman, C. (2012). Regional Inequality and Decentralization: An Empirical Analysis. Environment and Planning A, 44, 1363–1388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Ligthart, J. E., & Van Oudheusden, P. (2015). In Government We Trust: The Role Of Fiscal Decentralization. European Journal of Political Economy, 37, 116–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lin, J. Y., & Liu, Z. (2000). Fiscal decentralization and Economic Growth in China. Economic Development and Cultural Change, 49(1), 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Litvack, J., Ahmad, J., & Bird, R. (1998). Rethinking Decentralization in Developing Countries. Washington, DC: The World Bank.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Ma, L. J. C., & Wu, F. (2005). Restructuring the Chinese City: Diverse Processes and Reconstituted Spaces. In L. J. C. Ma & F. Wu (Eds.), Restructuring the Chinese City: Changing Society, Economy, and Space (pp. 1–20). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  46. Martinez-Vazguez, J., & McNab, R. (1997). Fiscal Decentralization, Economic Growth, and Democratic Governance. International Studies Program (Working Paper 97-7). Washington, DC: USAID Conference on Economic Growth and Democratic Governance.Google Scholar
  47. McGarry, J., & O’Leary, B. (2012). Territorial Pluralism: Its Forms, Flaws, and Virtues. In F. Requejo & M. C. Badia (Eds.), Federalism, Plurinationality and Democratic Constitutionalism: Theory and Cases. Abingdon and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  48. Montinola, G., Qian, Y., & Weingast, B. R. (1995). Federalism, Chinese Style: The Political Basis for Economic Success in China. World Politics, 48, 50–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Oates, W. (1993). Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Development. National Tax Journal, 46(2), 237–243.Google Scholar
  50. Oi, J. (1992). Fiscal Reform and the Economic Foundations of Local State Corporatism in China. World Politics, 45, 99–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Oksenberg, M., & Tong, J. (1991). The Evolution of Central-Provincial Fiscal Relations in China, 1971–1984: The Formal System. The China Quarterly, 125, 1–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Persson, T., & Tabellini, G. (1994). Is Inequality Harmful for Growth? American Economic Review, 84(3), 600–621.Google Scholar
  53. Qian, Y., & Weingast, B. R. (1997). Federalism as a Commitment to Preserving Market Incentives. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 11(4), 83–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Rodriguez, V. E. (1995). Municipal Autonomy and the Politics of Inter Governmental Finance: Is It Different for the Opposition? In V. E. Rodriguez & P. M. Ward (Eds.), Opposition Government in Mexico. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.Google Scholar
  55. Rodriguez-Pose, A., & Ezcurra, R. (2011). Is Fiscal Decentralization Harmful for Economic Growth? Evidence from the OECD Countries. Journal of Economic Geography, 11, 619–643.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Sapolsky, R. M. (2017). Behave. London: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  57. Schragger, R. C. (2010). Decentralization and Development. Virginia Law Review, 96(8), 1837–1910.Google Scholar
  58. Seabright, P. (1996). Accountability and Decentralization in Government: An Incomplete Contracts Model. European Economic Review, 40(1), 61–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Shah, A. (1994). The Reform of Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations in Developing and Emerging Market Economies. World Bank Policy and Research Series No. 23. Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  60. Shirk, S. (1993). The Political Logic of Economic Reforms in China. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  61. Smoke, P. (2015). Managing Public Sector Decentralization in Developing Countries: Moving Beyond Conventional Recipes. Public Administration and Development, 35, 250–262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Tarlton, C. D. (1965). Symmetry and Asymmetry as Elements of Federalism. Journal of Politics, 27(861), 874.Google Scholar
  63. Thede, N. (2009). Decentralization, Democracy and Human Rights: A Human Rights-Based Analysis of the Impact of Local Democratic Reforms on Development. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, 10(1), 103–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Treisman, D. (2002). Defining and Measuring Decentralization: A Global Perspective. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  65. Warner, M. E. (2003). Competition Cooperation and Local Governance. In D. Brown & L. Swanson (Eds.), Challenges for Rural America in the Twenty First Century (pp. 252–262). University Park: Penn State University Press.Google Scholar
  66. Watts, R. L. (2005). A Comparative Perspective on Asymmetry in Federations. Asymmetry Series (4), IIGR, Queen’s University.Google Scholar
  67. Watts, R. L. (2010). Asymmetrical Decentralization: Functional or Dysfunctional. Paper Presented at International Political Science Association. Québec City, Québec, Canada.Google Scholar
  68. Wehner, J. H.-G. (2000). Asymmetrical Devolution. Development Southern Africa, 17(2), 249–262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Weingast, B. R. (2014). Second Generation Fiscal Federalism: Political Aspects of Decentralization and Economic Development. World Development, 53, 14–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Wilkinson, R. (2000). Mind the Gap: Hierarchies, Health and Human Evolution. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.Google Scholar
  71. Zhang, L.-Y. (1994). Location-Specific Advantages and Manufacturing Direct Foreign Investment in South China. World Development, 22, 45–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Zhang, T., & Zou, H. (1998). Fiscal Decentralization, Public Spending and Economic Growth. Journal of Public Economics, 67(2), 221–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Zhang, X., Li, C., Li, W., Song, J., & Yang, C. (2017). Do Administrative Boundaries Matter for Uneven Economic Development? A Case Study of China’s Provincial Border Counties. Growth and Change, 48(4), 883–908.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Evrim Tan
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

Personalised recommendations