Few topics in the world of public finance arouse more heat than the financial arrangements between the central government and the states or provinces of countries with federal systems of government. In an attempt to shed some light on these sometimes complex arrangements, this book discusses financial relationships between central and state or provincial governments in four federal countries-Australia, Canada, the United States of America and West Germany. It covers the information on political organisation and constitutional requirements of each country, examination of relevant theories on fiscal federalism, and a survey of economic structure and developments in each country necessary to give the study a true perspective. Dr Hunter faces up to the problems currently confronting federal countries and gives careful consideration to the advantages of fiscal decentralisation and the need for improved methods of inter-governmental co-operation. In an Australian context he suggests several ways in which improvements could be made in the functioning of the federation within a framework of medium and long range economic planning. The problem of federal-state/provincial relationships admits of no easy answers; indeed, any answers will be open to challenge. Nonetheless this book will be essential reading for students of economics and government, in Australia and overseas, and for government officials and economists in many countries.