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Electoral Accountability and Local Government Efficiency: Quasi-Experimental Avidence From the Italian Health Care Sector Reforms

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  • Francesco Porcelli

    ()
    (University of Bari)

Abstract

This paper evaluates the effect of two policy changes on the efficiency of Italian regional governments in the provision of health care services: first a change in the electoral system; second a process of fiscal decentralisation. The electoral system was changed in 1995 and replaced a pure proportional system by a majoritarian system, fostering the transition of regional governments towards a presidential regime. The process of fiscal decentralisation took effect in 1998, when intergovernmental grants earmarked for the health care sector were replaced by regional taxes. The Italian context offers a unique source of data to test the predictions of recent theoretical models that support a positive relationship between government efficiency and the electoral accountability enhanced by institutions such as electoral rules and fiscal decentralisation. The paper provides two main contributions: 1) a comprehensive analysis of the two main reforms that involved Italian regional governments and the health care sector during the 1990s; 2) the evaluation of the impact of the electoral reform in a quasi-experimental setting. The final results provide empirical evidence in line with the findings of the theoretical models.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Metodi Matematici - Università di Bari in its series series with number 0036.

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Length: 1327
Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision: Sep 2011
Handle: RePEc:bai:series:wp0036

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Keywords: electoral accountability; DEA; decentralisation; efficiency; health;

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