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Taiwan's Officials' Perceptions of Fiscal Decentralization: An Analysis Using Q Methodology

Fang, Kai-Hung (2006) Taiwan's Officials' Perceptions of Fiscal Decentralization: An Analysis Using Q Methodology. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This is a study of subjectivity investigating Taiwanese officials�� patterns of attitudes toward fiscal decentralization. This research attempts to understand the process and issues of fiscal decentralization in Taiwan through the eyes of officials participating in this study. It is hoped to examine the national-local dichotomy based on revealed patterns of officials�� attitudes and to formulate policy recommendations based on policy consensuses revealed from the study.Five theories of fiscal decentralization are identified. It is confirmed that national-local dichotomy exists. Authoritative fiscal decentralization is a centralized theory emphasizing national control and monitoring. In contrast, unrestrained fiscal decentralization is a decentralized theory maximizing local administrative and financial freedom. This research further shows that multiple theories of fiscal decentralization coexist in addition to the dichotomy. Cooperative fiscal decentralization is a moderate centralized theory highlighting the importance of trusting and empowering local governments. Democratic fiscal decentralization, on the other hand, is a decentralized theory advocating democratic local participation. Finally, conflicted fiscal decentralization is a moderate decentralization theory asking for more local financial resources and autonomy while ignoring the problem of dysfunctional local politics.Three short-term policy recommendations were developed: (1) developing indicators of fiscal efforts with local officials�� participation; (2) encouraging local governments to apply the General Law on Local Taxation; and (3) increasing the size of national shared tax and eliminating the use of general grants. In addition, three long-term policy recommendations were proposed: (1) sharing power of policymaking with local officials; (2) allowing people to vote on local fiscal policies; and (3) controlling only the minimum level of local tax revenue. It is hoped that these recommendations would be adopted to improve the local fiscal system in Taiwan.What also matters, however, is the process through which policy decisions are made. As suggested, policy learning of fiscal decentralization has to occur, and an incremental approach should be adopted for future reforms of fiscal decentralization. Only after a culture of learning, deliberation, and collaboration is developed among stakeholders involving in the policy process, can the local fiscal system in Taiwan begin to evolve and gradually to improve.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Fang, Kai-Hungkhfang@pitt.eduKHFANG
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMiller, David Ydymiller@pitt.eduDYMILLER
Committee MemberWilf,
Committee MemberPicard, Louis Apicard@pitt.eduPICARD
Committee MemberComfort, Louise Kcomfort@pitt.eduCOMFORT
Date: 2 June 2006
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 25 April 2006
Approval Date: 2 June 2006
Submission Date: 14 May 2006
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public and International Affairs > Public and International Affairs
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fiscal Decentralization; Intergovernmental Relations; Local Fiscal System; Local Governments; Q Methodology; Taiwan
Other ID:, etd-05142006-214340
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:44
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:43


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