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Tax limits and local democracy

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  • Federico Revelli

    ()
    (University of Torino)

Abstract

Based on a theoretical model where state limits on local government policy elicit a move from private value (position issue) to common value (valence issue) voting, I exploit exogenous variation in tax limitation rules in over 7,000 Italian municipalities during the 2000s to show that fiscal restraints provoke a fall in voter turnout and number of mayor candidates, and a rise in elected mayors’ valence proxy and win margins. The evidence is compatible with the hypothesis of hierarchical tax limitations fading the ideological stakes of local elections and favoring valence-based party line crossing, thus questioning the influential accountability postulate of the fiscal decentralization lore.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) in its series Working Papers with number 2013/29.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2013/6/doc2013-29

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Keywords: Local elections; voter turnout; tax and expenditure limitations; fiscal decentralization;

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