Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

DECENTRALIZATION AND DEVELOPMENT

Richard C. Schragger
Virginia Law Review
Vol. 96, No. 8 (December 2010), pp. 1837-1910
Published by: Virginia Law Review
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27896334
Page Count: 74
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
DECENTRALIZATION AND DEVELOPMENT
Preview not available

Abstract

Significant intellectual and financial resources have been committed to decentralization projects in the developing world based on the idea that federal constitutional systems and local government autonomy will encourage economic growth. These efforts have been premised in part on scholars' claims that the federalism of nineteenth and early twentieth century America generated the nation's enormous economic growth. This Article challenges the claim that political decentralization promotes economic development in two ways. First, by looking closely at the legal history of local autonomy in the United States, it shows that the shifting legal status of cities vis-à-vis their states—which has resulted in alternative bouts of centralization and decentralization—did not cause economic growth. If anything, shifts in the degree of formal local power can be better understood as a consequence of economic growth. Second, it invokes newer work in economic geography that suggests that economic development is unavoidably uneven across jurisdictions and that the reason some places do well economically and others do poorly may have more to do with luck or path dependency than with particular legal institutions. For lawyers the stakes are high for we are told that law and legal frameworks—like the vertical division of authority—can make a great deal of difference to economic welfare. But this understanding of law does not take into account the spatial reality of economic development or the circular relationship between economic growth and legal change. This does not mean that the vertical distribution of powers does not matter—it does, but not in the ways that the decentralization-growth thesis presumes.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
1837
    1837
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1838
    1838
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1839
    1839
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1840
    1840
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1841
    1841
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1842
    1842
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1843
    1843
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1844
    1844
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1845
    1845
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1846
    1846
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1847
    1847
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1848
    1848
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1849
    1849
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1850
    1850
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1851
    1851
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1852
    1852
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1853
    1853
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1854
    1854
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1855
    1855
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1856
    1856
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1857
    1857
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1858
    1858
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1859
    1859
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1860
    1860
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1861
    1861
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1862
    1862
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1863
    1863
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1864
    1864
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1865
    1865
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1866
    1866
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1867
    1867
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1868
    1868
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1869
    1869
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1870
    1870
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1871
    1871
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1872
    1872
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1873
    1873
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1874
    1874
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1875
    1875
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1876
    1876
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1877
    1877
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1878
    1878
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1879
    1879
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1880
    1880
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1881
    1881
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1882
    1882
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1883
    1883
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1884
    1884
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1885
    1885
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1886
    1886
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1887
    1887
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1888
    1888
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1889
    1889
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1890
    1890
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1891
    1891
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1892
    1892
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1893
    1893
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1894
    1894
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1895
    1895
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1896
    1896
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1897
    1897
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1898
    1898
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1899
    1899
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1900
    1900
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1901
    1901
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1902
    1902
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1903
    1903
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1904
    1904
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1905
    1905
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1906
    1906
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1907
    1907
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1908
    1908
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1909
    1909
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[1910]
    [1910]