Fiscal Decentralization and Public Sector Size in Australia*

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This paper examines the impact of fiscal decentralization and intergovernmental collusion, and the resulting fiscal dependence, on the size of the public sector in Australia. Contrary to evidence for the United States, fiscal decentralization is found to have no impact on public sector size in Australia. Three possible explanations for this finding were suggested the relatively small number of lower‐level governments; the economic insignificance of local governments; and the relative immobility of citizens. Fiscal dependence of State governments on the Commonwealth proves a significant determinant of public sector size, consistent with findings for the United States.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-246
Number of pages7
JournalEconomic Record
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1992

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