The theory of fiscal federalism provides several reasons to expect better public service delivery if government is decentralized. Demand for public services is expected to vary across jurisdictions, and local government officials are expected to match supply of public services with demand more effectively than if public services were centrally provided. Households are expected to have higher participation rates in elections and to vote for better reasons (the candidates’ experience, agenda or political affiliation, rather than bribery or the candidates’ race, religion etc.) at the local level, and to have better access to information about local affairs than about national politics. Finally, mobility across jurisdictions is expected to induce local governments to be more efficient. We review the decentralization process in Uganda and provide evidence on all these mechanisms. There turns out to be little support for the relevance of these hypotheses to Uganda.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jeffrey_livingston/6/