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Constitutional reforms, fiscal decentralization and regional fiscal flows in Italy

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  • Maria Flavia Ambrosanio

    ()
    (DISCE, Università Cattolica)

  • Massimo Bordignon

    ()
    (DISCE, Università Cattolica)

  • Floriana Cerniglia

    ()
    (Università Milano Bicocca)

Abstract

In the last 15 years, Italy has been involved in a complex, confuse and unfinished process of fiscal decentralization. In this context, data on fiscal flows are continuously produced and thrown in the political arena by several actors, political parties, interest groups and media alike, with little scientific underpinnings and often with limited adherence to reality. This paper discusses at length the issue of fiscal federalism in Italy and presents a careful attempt to measure regional redistribution, or fiscal flows across regions. It describes the decentralization process in Italy from the beginning of the ‘90’s to date and presents a few data on the main features of the Italian decentralization process, that only happened on the financing side, with little effects on the allocation of expenditure responsibility between levels of governments. The focus is however on the measurement of regional fiscal flows and on the problems concerning the regionalization of public expenditure and revenues. Our basic conclusions can be summarised as follows. Fiscal flows in Italy are huge and are mostly driven by the large difference in economic development between the different areas of the country. The public sector generally works in the direction of equalizing per capita (current) public expenditure across regions, at least for fundamental services. However, the distance in economic development, and therefore in tax revenues among regions, is so large that even this partial equalization is enough to generate consistent fiscal flows across the national territory. Clearly, fiscal federalism has some chances of success in Italy only if it works in the direction of reducing the distance between territorial areas and the Italian debate on fiscal federalism, rich in ideology and poor in facts, would certainly benefit by an improved quality of regional data and by official estimations, based on clear and transparent methodology, of regional fiscal flows.

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File URL: http://www.unicatt.it/Istituti/EconomiaFinanza/Quaderni/ief0084.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE) in its series DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Economia e Finanza with number ief0084.

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Length: nn pages 29
Date of creation: Nov 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctc:serie3:ief0084

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Web page: http://www.unicatt.it/Istituti/EconomiaFinanza
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Keywords: fiscal federalism; net fiscal flows; regional redistribution;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Lago-Peñas, Santiago & Prada, Albino & Vaquero, Alberto, 2013. "On the Size and Determinants of Inter-regional Redistribution in European Countries over the Period 1995-2009," MPRA Paper 45406, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Giuseppe Mastromatteo, 2011. "The Debate on the Crisis: Recent Reappraisals of the Concept of Functional Finance," DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Economia e Finanza, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE) ief0105, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
  3. Sandro Brusco & Luca Colombo & Umberto Galmarini, 2010. "Local Governments Tax Autonomy, Lobbying, and Welfare," Department of Economics Working Papers, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics 10-01, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
  4. Izabela Karpowicz, 2012. "Narrowing Vertical Fiscal Imbalances in Four European Countries," IMF Working Papers 12/91, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Fabio Padovano, 2011. "Causes and Consequences of Bailing out Expectations of Subcentral Governments: Theory and Evidence from the Italian Regions," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen), Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS 201128, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
  6. Padovano, Fabio, 2012. "The drivers of interregional policy choices: Evidence from Italy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 324-340.
  7. Giuseppe Mastromatteo, 2011. "H.P. Minsky And Policies To Countervail Crises," DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Economia e Finanza, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE) ief0102, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
  8. Giannola, A. & Petraglia, C. & Scalera, D., 2011. "Residui fiscali regionali e riforma federalista. Quanto residuerà delle politiche regionali e redistributive?
    [Fiscal residua and federalist reform in Italy. Will regional and redistributive polic
    ," MPRA Paper 30895, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Angel de la Fuente, 2014. "¿Maltrato fiscal?," UFAE and IAE Working Papers, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC) 943.14, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).

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