Decentralization in Chile

1994 Occasional Paper
By Stewart, Frances; Ranis, Gustav

Major changes in the political regime and decentralization strategy over the last few decades make Chile an interesting case-study of decentralization. Chile is a "narrow" nation covering almost three-hundred thousand square miles, ranging from coastal lands to the Andean mountain range. Its population is fairly homogeneous, concentrated in the central regions and metropolitan areas, with no substantial ethnic or cultural differences. The government has been unitary since political independence in 1810. There exists considerable variation in economic resources and production processes across regions, with agriculture, fishing, forestry, and mining the main industries.