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Legislature size and government spending in Italian regions: Forecasting the effects of a reform


  • Nadia Fiorino
  • Roberto Ricciuti



We analyze the effect of different legislature size on per capita regional expenditure in Italy. According to the theory, legislature size has an indefinite effect on government spending because logrolling and transaction costs may have canceling effects. We find a large and significantly positive effect of the number of legislators. We use these findings to forecast the effects of the increase in the number of legislators that is taking place in some regions: a 10% increase in legislature size commands on average a 12% increase in per capita regional expenditure. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Nadia Fiorino & Roberto Ricciuti, 2007. "Legislature size and government spending in Italian regions: Forecasting the effects of a reform," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 131(1), pages 117-125, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:131:y:2007:i:1:p:117-125
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-006-9108-y

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gilligan, Thomas W & Matsusaka, John G, 1995. "Deviations from Constituent Interests: The Role of Legislative Structure and Political Parties in the States," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(3), pages 383-401, July.
    2. Marilyn Young & Michael Reksulak & William F. Shughart, 2001. "The Political Economy of the IRS," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 201-220, July.
    3. Bradbury, John Charles & Crain, W. Mark, 2001. "Legislative organization and government spending: cross-country evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 309-325, December.
    4. Weingast, Barry R & Shepsle, Kenneth A & Johnsen, Christopher, 1981. "The Political Economy of Benefits and Costs: A Neoclassical Approach to Distributive Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 642-664, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Giuseppe Di Liddo, 2015. "Urban sprawl and regional growth: empirical evidence from Italian Regions," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(4), pages 2141-2160.
    2. Izabela Karpowicz, 2012. "Narrowing Vertical Fiscal Imbalances in Four European Countries," IMF Working Papers 12/91, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Stefania Ottone & Ferrucio Ponzano & Roberto Ricciuti, 2009. "Simulating Voting Rule Reforms for the Italian Parliament: An Economic Perspective," Czech Economic Review, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, vol. 3(3), pages 292-304, October.
    4. Giuseppe Di Liddo, 2015. "Urban sprawl and regional growth: first empirical evidence from Italian Regions," Working papers 28, Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica.
    5. Wehner, Joachim, 2010. "Cabinet structure and fiscal policy outcomes," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28648, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. repec:kap:pubcho:v:173:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11127-017-0484-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Di Liddo, Giuseppe, 2015. "Urban sprawl and regional growth: empirical evidence from Italian Regions," Working Papers 1505, SIET Società Italiana di Economia dei Trasporti e della Logistica.
    8. William B. Hankins, 2015. "Government Spending, Shocks, and the Role of Legislature Size: Evidence from the American States," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1059-1070, December.

    More about this item


    Legislature size; Regional expenditure;

    JEL classification:

    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects


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