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A Cross-Country Comparison of Decentralization and Environmental Protection

Hilary Sigman

May 2008, English

Hilary Sigman presents a cross-country analysis of the relationships between decentralization and environmental quality. She employs four measures in her study: (1) access to improved sanitation; (2) wastewater treatment; (3) ambient sulfur dioxide; and (4) the size of protected land areas. The results show no consistent effects of decentralization on environmental quality. Although decentralization seems to decrease access to sanitation, it increases the amount of land allocated to protected areas. In both cases, however, the estimated values of the coefficients used in Sigman’s econometric model are not statistically significant.

This paper was presented at the Lincoln Institute’s annual Land Policy Conference in 2007 and is Chapter 8 of the book Fiscal Decentralization and Land Policies.