|Bulletin n. 2/2016|
Adams Brian E.
|Assessing the Merits of Decentralization: A Framework for Identifying the Causal Mechanisms Influencing Policy Outcomes|
|in Politics & Policy , Volume 44, Issue 5, October , 2016 , 820-849|
|Decentralization is a structural change designed to influence policy outcomes by changing the policy-making process. Critical to assessing the merits of decentralization is an articulation of the causal mechanisms through which it alters the motivations and behavior of officials which, in turn, influence policy decisions. This article offers a new theoretical framework that explicates these causal mechanisms. It yields two sets of hypotheses. The first posits causal relationships between decentralization and the mix of resources and constraints that a government faces when addressing a policy problem. The second set of hypotheses explores how these resources and constraints influences decisions makersí preferences, incentives, and capacity. This framework captures the potential ways through which decentralization could alter policy outcomes, pointing to a new research agenda that will allow scholars to empirically sort through the mixed and inconclusive findings on decentralization's impact.|