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Fiscal Federalism and States’ Economic Growth in India- An Analytical Study


  • School of Management, Northcap University, Gurgaon - 122017, Haryana, India
  • Credit Suisse Business Analytics, Mumbai - 400076, Maharashtra, India
  • FBM, NIFTEM University, Kundli, Sonepat - 131028, Haryana, India


Objectives: This study is aimed at analyzing various facets of Fiscal Federalism and its impact on the growth of states in India. Methods/Analysis: The Study proposes a model to test the impact of autonomy and hard budget constraints, two important features of decentralization, on the economies of the states. The model has been analyzed using the Fixed Effects Least Squares method for panel data using EViews. Findings: The results point out quite a few aspects of the impact of fiscal federalism on Indian states. The paper concludes by giving possible reasons for the negative relation between autonomy with growth and the positive relation between central grants with growth. The fact that the OwnTax ratio is negatively related to the GSDP growth rate shows that the level of autonomy of a state is negatively related to the growth of the state. The study also revealed a high dependence of the states on the grants and tax sharing mechanisms for growth. It was found that the central intervention in the states’ economy was positively related to their growth, which points to soft budget constraints on the states which depend highly on the central government to finance their spending. The overall level of decentralization was also found to be quite poor, though the relationship is not very economically significant. Applications/Improvement: The Study highlights that trade-off between the autonomy and budget constraint aspects of fiscal federalism needs to be a major concern and work area for policy makers in India.


Economic Growth, Fiscal Federalism, Tax

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