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Pork Barrel Politics in Postwar Italy, 1953–1994

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  • Golden, M.
  • Picci, L.

Abstract

This paper analyzes the political determinants of the distribution of infrastructure expenditures by the Italian government to the country’s 92 provinces between 1953 and 1994. Extending implications of theories of legislative behavior to the context of open-list proportional representation, we examine whether individually powerful legislators and ruling parties direct spending to core or marginal electoral districts, and whether opposition parties share resources via a norm of universalism. We show that when districts elect politically more powerful deputies from the governing parties, they receive more investments. We interpret this as indicating that legislators with political resources reward their core voters by investing in public works in their districts. The governing parties, by contrast, are not able to discipline their own members of parliament sufficiently to target the parties’ areas of core electoral strength. Finally, we find no evidence that a norm of universalism operates to steer resources to areas when the main opposition party gains more votes.

Suggested Citation

  • Golden, M. & Picci, L., 2007. "Pork Barrel Politics in Postwar Italy, 1953–1994," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0767, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0767
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Carozzi, Felipe & Repetto, Luca, 2016. "Sending the pork home: Birth town bias in transfers to Italian municipalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 42-52.
    2. Davide Luca & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2014. "Electoral politics and regional development: assessing the geographical allocation of public investment in Turkey," Working Papers. Collection A: Public economics, governance and decentralization 1402, Universidade de Vigo, GEN - Governance and Economics research Network.
    3. Andrew Leigh, 2008. "Bringing home the bacon: an empirical analysis of the extent and effects of pork-barreling in Australian politics," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 279-299, October.
    4. Muraközy, Balázs & Telegdy, Álmos, 2016. "Political incentives and state subsidy allocation: Evidence from Hungarian municipalities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 324-344.
    5. repec:taf:regstd:v:50:y:2016:i:7:p:1097-1112 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Yannis Psycharis & Vassilis Tselios, 2012. "Public investment and regional growth and convergence: Evidence from Greece," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 91(3), pages 543-568, August.
    7. Firpo, Sergio & Ponczek, Vladimir & Sanfelice, Viviane, 2015. "The relationship between federal budget amendments and local electoral power," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 186-198.
    8. Kemmerling, Achim & Stephan, Andreas, 2015. "Comparative political economy of regional transport infrastructure investment in Europe," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 227-239.
    9. Millo, Giovanni, 2014. "Robust standard error estimators for panel models: a unifying approach," MPRA Paper 54954, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Fernanda Brollo, 2008. "Who Is Punishing Corrupt Politicians – Voters or the Central Government? Evidence from the Brazilian Anti-Corruption Program," Working Papers 336, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    11. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Yannis Psycharis & Vassilis Tselios, 2016. "Politics and Investment: Examining the Territorial Allocation of Public Investment in Greece," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(7), pages 1097-1112, July.
    12. Cristina Bodea & Adrienne LeBas, 2013. "The Origins of Social Contracts: Attitudes toward Taxation in Urban Nigeria," CSAE Working Paper Series 2013-02, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    13. Cristina Bodea & Adrienne LeBas, 2013. "The Origins of Social Contracts: Attitudes toward Taxation in Urban Nigeria," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2013-02, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    14. Davide Luca, 2013. "Regional development goals and distributive politics in the allocation of Turkey's central investments: socioeconomic criteria, parties and legislators' personal networks," ERSA conference papers ersa13p981, European Regional Science Association.
    15. Hugh Goldsmith, 2014. "The Long-Run Evolution of Infrastructure Services," CESifo Working Paper Series 5073, CESifo Group Munich.
    16. John Carey & Simon Hix, 2013. "District magnitude and representation of the majority’s preferences: a comment and reinterpretation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 154(1), pages 139-148, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pork barrel; distributive politics; electoral systems; Italy; public spending; infrastructure.;

    JEL classification:

    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General

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