The Impact of Recentralization on Public Services: A Difference-in-Differences Analysis of the Abolition of Elected Councils in Vietnam
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Comparative political economy offers a wealth of hypotheses connecting decentralization to improved public service delivery. In recent years, influential formal and experimental work has begun to question the underlying theory and empirical analyses of previous findings. At the same time, many countries have grown dissatisfied with the results of their decentralization efforts and have begun to reverse them. Vietnam is particularly intriguing because of the unique way in which it designed its recentralization, piloting a removal of elected people's councils in 99 districts across the country and stratifying the selection by region, type of province, and urban versus rural setting. We take advantage of the opportunity provided by this quasi experiment to test the core hypotheses regarding the decision to shift administrative and fiscal authority to local governments. We find that recentralization significantly improved public service delivery in areas important to central policy-makers, especially in transportation, healthcare, and communications. Copyright © American Political Science Association 2014.
public service delivery
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1017/S0003055413000580
Publication InfoMalesky, Edmund; NGUYEN, CUONG VIET; & TRAN, ANH (2014). The Impact of Recentralization on Public Services: A Difference-in-Differences Analysis of the Abolition of Elected Councils in Vietnam. American Political Science Review, 108(01). pp. 144-168. 10.1017/S0003055413000580. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/17737.
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Professor of Political Science
Malesky is a specialist on Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam. Currently, Malesky's research agenda is very much at the intersection of Comparative and International Political Economy, falling into three major categories: 1) Authoritarian political institutions and their consequences; 2) The political influence of foreign direct investment and multinational corporations; and 3) Political institutions, private business development, and formalization.