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Sending the Pork Home: Birth Town Bias in Transfers to Italian Municipalities

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  • Felipe Carozzi
  • Luca Repetto

Abstract

We ask whether the birthplaces of Italian members of Parliament are favoured in the allocation of central government transfers. Using a panel of municipalities for the years between 1994 and 2006, we find that municipal governments of legislators’ birth towns receive larger transfers per capita. Exploiting variation in birthplaces induced by parliamentary turnover for estimation, we find that this effect is driven by legislators who were born in a town outside their district of election. As a result, we argue that our findings cannot be a consequence of re-election incentives, the usual motivation for pork-barrel policies in the literature. Rather, politicians may be pursuing other personal motives. We explore several possible mechanisms behind our results by matching parliamentarians to a detailed dataset on local level administrators.

Suggested Citation

  • Felipe Carozzi & Luca Repetto, 2015. "Sending the Pork Home: Birth Town Bias in Transfers to Italian Municipalities," CESifo Working Paper Series 5554, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5554
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    Cited by:

    1. Nastassia Leszczynska, 2017. "Double Hat Politicians: Political Moonlighting in Wallonia," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2017-43, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. Manacorda, Marco & Gagliarducci, Stefano, 2016. "Politics in the family: Nepotism and the hiring decisionsof Italian firms," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 66440, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Quoc-Anh Do & Kieu-Trang Nguyen & Anh N. Tran, 2017. "One Mandarin Benefits the Whole Clan: Hometown Favoritism in an Authoritarian Regime," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 1-29, October.
    4. Ilaria De Angelis & Guido de Blasio & Lucia Rizzica, 2018. "On the unintended effects of public transfers: evidence from EU funding to Southern Italy," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1180, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    5. Giorgetti, Isabella & Picchio, Matteo, 2018. "One Billion Euro Program for Early Childcare Services in Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 11689, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Muhammad Haseeb & Kate Vyborny, 2016. "Imposing institutions: Evidence from cash transfer reform in Pakistan," CSAE Working Paper Series 2016-36, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    7. Jon H. Fiva & Askill Halse & Daniel M. Smith, 2018. "Local Candidates and Distributive Politics under Closed-list Proportional Representation," CESifo Working Paper Series 7039, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Jennes, Geert & Persyn, Damiaan, 2015. "The effect of political representation on the geographic distribution of income: Evidence using Belgian data," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 178-194.
    9. Quoc-Anh Do & Kieu-Trang Nguyen & Anh N. Tran, 2017. "One Mandarin Benefits the Whole Clan: Hometown Favoritism in an Authoritarian Regime," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 1-29, October.
    10. Fiva, Jon H. & Halse, Askill H., 2016. "Local favoritism in at-large proportional representation systems," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 15-26.
    11. Dalle Nogare, Chiara & Kauder, Björn, 2017. "Term limits for mayors and intergovernmental grants: Evidence from Italian cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 1-11.
    12. Kauder, Björn & Potrafke, Niklas & Reischmann, Markus, 2016. "Do politicians reward core supporters? Evidence from a discretionary grant program," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 39-56.
    13. Markus Reischmann, 2016. "Empirical Studies on Public Debt and Fiscal Transfers," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 63, January.
    14. Quoc-Anh Do & Kieu-Trang Nguyen & Anh N. Tran, 2017. "One Mandarin Benefits the Whole Clan: Hometown Favoritism in an Authoritarian Regime," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 1-29, October.
    15. Brice Fabre & Marc Sangnier, 2017. "What Motivates French Pork: Political Career Concerns or Private Connections?," AMSE Working Papers 1705, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France.
    16. Levoshko, Tamila, 2017. ""Pork-Barrel"-Politik und das regionale Wirtschaftswachstum. Empirische Evidenz für die Ukraine und Polen," Working Papers 0642, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    17. Kauder, Björn & Björn, Kauder & Niklas, Potrafke & Markus, Reischmann, 2016. "Do politicians gratify core supporters? Evidence from a discretionary grant program," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145509, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    18. Gerrit J. Gonschorek & Günther G. Schulze & Bambang Suharnoko Sjahrir, 2018. "To the ones in need or the ones you need? The Political Economy of Central Discretionary Grants − Empirical Evidence from Indonesia," Discussion Paper Series 36, Department of International Economic Policy, University of Freiburg, revised Jan 2018.
    19. Thushyanthan Baskaran & Mariana Lopes da Fonseca, 2017. "Appointed Public Officials and Local Favoritism: Evidence from the German States," CESifo Working Paper Series 6800, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    pork-barrel politics; distributive policies; careers in politics; political economy;

    JEL classification:

    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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