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Abstract for:

The Stimulative Effect of an Unconditional Block Grant on the Decentralized Provision of Care

Mark  Kattenberg,  Wouter  Vermeulen,  November 2016
Paper No' SERCDP0209: | Full paper (pdf)
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Keywords: intergovernmental transfers, flypaper effect, decentralization of health care

JEL Classification: H42; H51; H71; H75

Is hard copy/paper copy available? YES - Paper Copy Still In Print.
This Paper is published under the following series: SERC Discussion Papers
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Abstract:

Understanding the impact of central government grants on decentralized health care provision is of crucial importance for the design of grant systems, yet empirical evidence on the prevalence of flypaper effects in this domain is rare. We study the decentralization of home care in the Netherlands and exploit the gradual introduction of formula-based equalization to identify the effect of exogenous changes in an unconditional block grant on local expenditure and utilization. Although spending the money on other items is explicitly allowed, a one euro increase in central government grants raises local expenditure by twenty to fifty cents. Adjustments occur through the number of hours as well as through substitution between basic and more advanced types of assistance. These findings suggest that conditioning of grants is not required for the central government to retain a moderate degree of control over the decentralized provision of care.