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Pork Barrel Politics in Postwar Italy, 1953–1994

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  • Golden, M.
  • Picci, L.

Abstract

This paper analyzes the political determinants of the distribution of infrastructure expenditures by the Italian government to the country’s 92 provinces between 1953 and 1994. Extending implications of theories of legislative behavior to the context of open-list proportional representation, we examine whether individually powerful legislators and ruling parties direct spending to core or marginal electoral districts, and whether opposition parties share resources via a norm of universalism. We show that when districts elect politically more powerful deputies from the governing parties, they receive more investments. We interpret this as indicating that legislators with political resources reward their core voters by investing in public works in their districts. The governing parties, by contrast, are not able to discipline their own members of parliament sufficiently to target the parties’ areas of core electoral strength. Finally, we find no evidence that a norm of universalism operates to steer resources to areas when the main opposition party gains more votes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0767.

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Length: 24
Date of creation: Sep 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0767

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Web page: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/index.htm

Related research

Keywords: Pork barrel; distributive politics; electoral systems; Italy; public spending; infrastructure.;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Cristina Bodea & Adrienne LeBas, 2013. "The Origins of Social Contracts: Attitudes toward Taxation in Urban Nigeria," CSAE Working Paper Series 2013-02, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  2. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Yannis Psycharis & Vassilis Tselios, 2012. "Public investment and regional growth and convergence: Evidence from Greece," Working Papers 2012-05, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales.
  3. Andrew Leigh, 2008. "Bringing home the bacon: an empirical analysis of the extent and effects of pork-barreling in Australian politics," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 279-299, October.
  4. Fernanda Brollo, 2008. "Who Is Punishing Corrupt Politicians – Voters or the Central Government? Evidence from the Brazilian Anti-Corruption Program," Working Papers 336, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  5. Cristina Bodea & Adrienne LeBas, 2013. "The Origins of Social Contracts: Attitudes toward Taxation in Urban Nigeria," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2013-02, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  6. Firpo, Sergio & Ponczek, Vladimir & Sanfelice, Viviane, 2014. "The Relationship between Federal Budget Amendments and Local Electoral Power," IZA Discussion Papers 7918, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Davide Luca, 2013. "Regional development goals and distributive politics in the allocation of Turkey?s central investments: socioeconomic criteria, parties and legislators? personal networks," ERSA conference papers ersa13p981, European Regional Science Association.

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