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Mafia and Public Spending: Evidence on the Fiscal Multiplier from a Quasi-experiment

  • Acconcia, Antonio
  • Corsetti, Giancarlo
  • Simonelli, Saverio

We estimate the multiplier relying on differences in spending in infrastructure across Italian provinces and an instrument identifying investment changes that are large and exogenous to local cyclical conditions. We derive our instrument from the Law mandating the interruption of public work on evidence of mafia infiltration of city councils. Our IV estimates on cross sectional data allow us to address common problems in time series analysis, such as the risk of estimating spuriously high multipliers because of endogeneity and reverse causation, or the risk of confounding the effects of fiscal and monetary measures. Accounting for contemporaneous and lagged effects, and controlling for the direct impact of anti-mafia measures on output, our results suggest a multiplier as high as 1.4 on impact, and 2 including dynamic effects.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8305.

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Date of creation: Apr 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8305
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  1. Karel Mertens & Morten O. Ravn, 2012. "Empirical Evidence on the Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated US Tax Policy Shocks," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 145-81, May.
  2. Ethan Ilzetzki & Enrique G. Mendoza & Carlos A. Végh, 2010. "How Big (Small?) are Fiscal Multipliers?," NBER Working Papers 16479, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Giordano, Raffaela & Momigliano, Sandro & Neri, Stefano & Perotti, Roberto, 2007. "The effects of fiscal policy in Italy: Evidence from a VAR model," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 707-733, September.
  4. Acconcia, Antonio & Immordino, Giovanni & Piccolo, Salvatore & Rey, Patrick, 2013. "Accomplice-Witness and Organized Crime: Theory and Evidence from Italy," IDEI Working Papers 777, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  5. Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2009. "When is the government spending multiplier large?," NBER Working Papers 15394, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. JonasD.M. Fisher & Ryan Peters, 2010. "Using Stock Returns to Identify Government Spending Shocks," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 414-436, 05.
  7. Jeffrey Clemens & Stephen Miran, 2012. "Fiscal Policy Multipliers on Subnational Government Spending," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 46-68, May.
  8. Robert J. Barro & Charles J. Redlick, 2011. "Macroeconomic Effects From Government Purchases and Taxes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 51-102.
  9. Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Identifying Government Spending Shocks: It's all in the Timing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 1-50.
  10. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker & Shu-Chun Susan Yang, 2011. "Foresight and Information Flows," NBER Working Papers 16951, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2011. "Fiscal Stimulus in a Monetary Union: Evidence from U.S. Regions," NBER Working Papers 17391, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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