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Pork Barrel Politics in Postwar Italy, 1953–1994

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  • Picci, Lucio
  • Golden, Miriam

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 University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 5626.

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Date of creation: Nov 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:5626

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

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Yannis Psycharis & Vassilis Tselios, 2012. "Public investment and regional growth and convergence: Evidence from Greece," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 91(3), pages 543-568, 08.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Andrew Leigh, 2008. "Bringing Home the Bacon: An empirical analysis of the extent and effects of pork-barreling in Australian politics," CEPR Discussion Papers 580, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

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