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This study theoretically and empirically analyzes the relationship between decentralization and welfare. The model identifies conditions in which a decentralized government is utility-maximizing compared to a centralized one. The empirical analysis utilized data from Philippine provinces to study the relationship between several decentralization indicators and welfare, as measured by per capita income, human development index, and poverty. Results suggest that fiscal independence, or thedoi:10.3326/pse.45.1.3 fatcat:mcyf22thhjgtlmts346qr53mty