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Title: Territorial justice and fiscal equity: the case of post-communist Russia
Author: Vartapetov, Karen
ISNI:       0000 0000 5156 3488
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2007
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Territorial justice in public finance concerns the equal treatment of those in equal need irrespective of geographic location. This thesis e~aluates and explains the spatially equalizing effects of post-communist Russia's fiscal system for the case of primary and secondary education in 1997-2004 in the context of theory and international experience. The key challenges to the Russian school education - under-funding and the inefficient input-based system of public budgeting - have been aggravated by the rising regional inequalities in school fmance allocation. C) The new federal system of formulae-based intergovernmental fiscal transfers introduced in the late 1990s with an official aim of the equalization of regional fiscal capacities to provide basic public services has improved school finance equity only modestly. The detailed analysis of the policy initiatives of the reform pioneer region of Samara initiateq in 1998 has also revealed somewhat controversial results. Although Samara's new scheme for school finance and administration improved the efficiency of service provision, territorial, social and economic inequalities coupled with school elitism complicated equity improvements. Despite the fact that the links between fiscal decentralization and regional evol~tions are not direct, decentralization can either diminish or enforce spatial inequality. The empirical evidence --' suggests that in the Russian case, decentralization per se has not been the cause for the growth of ) spatial disparities. Rather post-communist Russia's uneven economic geography has been the I main reason for the lack of territorial equality. Although fiscal equalization is not supposed to explicitly deliver regional economic convergence, Russian fiscal federalist relations have done little to create the conditions for balanced regional development. The advanced by international standards formulae for fiscal equalization has not been accompanied by the changes in the allocation of highly non-transparent non-equalization grants, the elimination of barriers to the spatial mobility of population, and, most importantly, improvements in regional and local fmancial and administrative decision-making autonomy. Given Russia's economic geography it is very unlikely that further political, administrative and fiscal centralization will be able to moderate spatial forces working toward greater territorial injustice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Oxford University, 2007 Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available