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The Effect of Council Size on Municipal Expenditures: Evidence from Italian Municipalities

Author

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  • Marco Alberto De Benedetto

    (Birkbeck, University of London
    Università degli Studi di Messina)

Abstract

I study the effect of council size on municipal expenditures by using a rich data set providing information on Italian municipal budgets over the period 2001-2007. By implementing a Sharp Regression Discontinuity Design, I find a negative relationship between local government size, as measured by total expenditures per capita, and the council size. Similar results are found when I consider expenditures that are more directly under the control of bureaucrats, such as current expenditures per capita. Finally, I test the "law of 1/n" on pork barrel policies, finding again a negative effect of council size on capital expenditures per capita.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Alberto De Benedetto, 2018. "The Effect of Council Size on Municipal Expenditures: Evidence from Italian Municipalities," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 1802, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bbk:bbkefp:1802
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    File URL: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/ems/research/wp/2018/PDFs/BWPEF1802.pdf
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Government Size; Legislature Size; Law of 1/n; Natural Experiment; Sharp RDD.;

    JEL classification:

    • 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 Formulation and Implementation
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General

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