Decentralization and Local Governments’ Performance: How Does Fiscal Autonomy Affect Spending Efficiency?
AbstractIn Italy, as in other countries around the world, recent reforms share the goal of increasing the fiscal autonomy of lower tiers of governments, from Regions to Municipalities, in order to align spending with funding responsibilities and increase the efficiency in the provision of essential public services. The purpose of this paper is to assess spending efficiency of local governments and to investigate the effects of tax decentralization, focusing on the role played by incumbent politicians’ accountability. The analysis relies on a sample of Italian municipalities and exploits both parametric (SFA) and nonparametric (DEA) techniques to study spending inefficiency and its main determinants. Consistently with modern fiscal federalism theories, our results show that more fiscally autonomous municipalities exhibit less inefficient behaviours. We also find that the shorter is the distance from new elections, the higher is excess spending, thus giving further support to the traditional “electoral budget cycle” agument. Other political features of governing coalition, such as age and gender of the mayor, do not seem to exert any significant impact on inefficiency levels.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Former Department of Economics and Public Finance "G. Prato", University of Torino in its series Working papers with number 11.
Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Local governments; Fiscal autonomy; Political accountability; Spending efficiency; Parametric and nonparametric frontiers;
Other versions of this item:
- Lorenzo Boetti & Massimiliano Piacenza & Gilberto Turati, 2012. "Decentralization and Local Governments' Performance: How Does Fiscal Autonomy Affect Spending Efficiency?," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 68(3), pages 269-302, September.
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy-Making and Implementation
- H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
- H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
- H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
- R51 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Finance in Urban and Rural Economies
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-04-11 (All new papers)
- NEP-EFF-2010-04-11 (Efficiency & Productivity)
- NEP-GEO-2010-04-11 (Economic Geography)
- NEP-PBE-2010-04-11 (Public Economics)
- NEP-URE-2010-04-11 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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- Bracalente, Bruno & Polinori, Paolo, 2010.
"L’efficienza tecnico-economica dei servizi pubblici locali: i casi delle farmacie comunali e dei servizi di igiene urbana
[Technical And Economic Efficiency Of Local Public Services: The Cases Of," MPRA Paper 34455, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Agnese Sacchi & Simone Salotti, 2012. "A comprehensive anlysis of expenditure decentralization and of the composition of local public spending," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0155, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.
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