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

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Acconcia, Antonio & Corsetti, Giancarlo & Simonelli, Saverio, 2011. "Mafia and Public Spending: Evidence on the Fiscal Multiplier from a Quasi-experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 8305, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8305
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    government spending; instrumental variables; multiplier;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C26 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures

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