Horizontal Interaction on Local Councils' Expenditures. Evidence from Italy
This paper seeks for public spending interdependence among jurisdictions within some Italian local councils. We find significant positive interaction among spending of neighboring local councils both at the level of total expenditure and also for different subcategories. However, this result applies only when spatial dependence is analyzed among geographically contiguous jurisdictions different criteria of proximity do not give rise to any substantial form of interaction among local governments. Attempts to identifying the source of this interaction seem to refuse yardstick competition hypothesis. Fiscal spill-overs among jurisdictions appear as a more plausible explanation; we also find evidence that local councils partnerships fail to effectively internalize these spill-overs. Finally, commuting affects spatial interdependence among jurisdictions.
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