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Il decentramento della funzione redistributiva: effetti sul benessere degli individui

Listed author(s):
  • Agnese SACCHI


    (Universita' Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Economia)

[ENGLISH] The objective of the paper is to evaluate theoretically the effects of the assignment of redistribution function to lower levels of government on individuals' welfare, focusing on the level of national and local income inequality. First studies on fiscal federalism suggested negative support to the decentralization of redistribution function (Stigler, 1957; Musgrave, 1959; Oates, 1972). Only in the recent literature, it is possible to find some positive results about the convenience of decentralized redistribution (Wellisch, 2000; Tresch, 2002). In particular, it has been investigated whether economic conditions exist to assign favourably the redistributive responsibility to lower levels of government. The idea - not yet very explored in literature - is to establish what relation should occur between local inequality and overall inequality in order to have socially suitable redistributive spending at local level. It turns out to be a relevant issue, especially if we consider the institutional reforms introduced in Italy in the recent years. The most important result is that even if the mainstream of federalism and redistribution does not find the convenience of decentralized redistribution, there is some space - at least theoretically - for local redistribution, as support of national policies or, in some cases, as a substitute of them. It is possible if certain conditions on income inequality at overall and local level are fulfilled. [ITALIANO] Obiettivo del presente lavoro Š valutare gli effetti dell'articolazione su piu' livelli di governo della funzione redistributiva sul benessere degli individui ponendo l'attenzione sul grado di disuguaglianza a livello nazionale e locale, attraverso un'analisi teorica. Su questo tema, i primi studi sul federalismo fiscale hanno dato sempre risposte negative (Stigler, 1957; Musgrave, 1959; Oates, 1972), e solo in tempi piu' recenti Š emersa qualche incerta risposta positiva (Wellisch, 2000; Tresch, 2002). In particolare, si Š tentato di indagare se esistano condizioni economiche per cui sia conveniente assegnare lo svolgimento dei compiti redistributivi ai livelli inferiori di governo. Piu' specificamente, l'idea - peraltro ancora poco esplorata in letteratura - Š arrivare a stabilire in quale rapporto dovrebbero stare disuguaglianza locale e disuguaglianza totale, affinche' risulti socialmente conveniente avere spesa redistributiva gestita a livello locale. Questo si Š rivelato un tema rilevante, specie osservando le recenti riforme istituzionali che hanno riguardato l'Italia. Il risultato piu' rilevante Š che, nonostante la visione dominante in tema di federalismo e redistribuzione abbia negato la convenienza del decentramento della funzione redistributiva, si aprono spazi - almeno in linea teorica - per la redistribuzione locale, a sostegno delle politiche nazionali o, in alcuni casi, addirittura in sostituzione di queste ultime, in dipendenza dal rapporto tra la disuguaglianza del reddito nazionale e locale.

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Paper provided by Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali in its series Working Papers with number 323.

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Length: 37
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Handle: RePEc:anc:wpaper:323
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