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Who do you blame in local finance? An analysis of municipal financing in Italy

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  • Massimo Bordignon

    () (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
    Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

  • Veronica Grembi
  • Santino Piazza

Abstract

In a political agency model, we study the effect of introducing a less transparent tax tool for the financing of local governments. We show that lower quality politicians would use more the less transparent tax tool to enhance their probability of re-election. This prediction is tested by studying a reform that in 1999 allowed Italian municipalities to partially substitute a more accountable source of tax revenue (the property tax) with a less transparent one (a surcharge on the personal income tax of residents). Using a Difference in Difference approach, we show that in line with theory, Mayors at their first term in power adopted a higher surcharge on the personal income tax and reduced the property tax rate significantly more than Mayors in their final term..

Suggested Citation

  • Massimo Bordignon & Veronica Grembi & Santino Piazza, 2015. "Who do you blame in local finance? An analysis of municipal financing in Italy," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def035, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
  • Handle: RePEc:ctc:serie1:def035
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    File URL: http://dipartimenti.unicatt.it/economia-finanza-def035.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sandro Brusco & Luca Colombo & Umberto Galmarini, 2010. "Local Governments Tax Autonomy, Lobbying, and Welfare," Department of Economics Working Papers 10-01, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
    2. Yu-Fu Chen & Michael Funke, 2010. "Global Warming And Extreme Events: Rethinking The Timing And Intensity Of Environmental Policy," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 236, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
    3. Tiziana Assenza & Domenico Delli Gatti & Jakob Grazzini & Giorgio Ricchiuti, 2016. "Heterogeneous Firms and International Trade: The Role of Productivity and Financial Fragility," CESifo Working Paper Series 5959, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. repec:eee:socmed:v:190:y:2017:i:c:p:38-47 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Elenka Brenna & Lara Gitto, 2016. "Financing elderly care in Italy and Europe. Is there a common vision?," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def047, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    6. Matejka, Filip & Tabellini, Guido, 2015. "Electoral Competition with Rationally Inattentive Voters," CEPR Discussion Papers 10888, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Elena Cottini & Paolo Ghinetti, 2017. "Is it the way you live or the job you have? Health effects of lifestyles and working conditions," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def056, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    8. Grazia Cecere & Nicoletta Corrocher & Maria Luisa Mancusi, 2016. "Financial constraints and public funding for eco-innovation: Empirical evidence on European SMEs," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def046, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    9. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2013. "Genetic Diversity and the Origins of Cultural Fragmentation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 528-533.
    10. Massimo Bordignon & Matteo Gamalerio & Gilberto Turati, 2013. "Decentralization, Vertical Fiscal Imbalance, and Political Selection," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def002, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    11. Maria Flavia Ambrosanio & Paolo Balduzzi & Massimo Bordignon, 2014. "Economic crisis and fiscal federalism in Italy," Working papers 8, Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica.
    12. Michele Tettamanzi, 2017. "E Many Pluribus Unum: A Behavioural Macro-Economic Agent Based Model," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def062, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    13. Giuseppe Mastromatteo, 2011. "H.P. Minsky And Policies To Countervail Crises," DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Economia e Finanza ief0102, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    14. Simone Moriconi, 2016. "Taxation, industry integration and production efficiency," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def043, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    15. Simone Moriconi, 2016. "Taxation, Industry Integration and Production Efficiency," CESifo Working Paper Series 6001, CESifo Group Munich.
    16. Bracco, Emanuele & Porcelli, Francesco & Redoano, Michela, 2013. "Political Competition, Tax Salience and Accountability: Theory and Some Evidence from Italy," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 126, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    17. Bertoli, Paola & Grembi, Veronica, 2017. "The political economy of diagnosis-related groups," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 38-47.
    18. repec:ces:ifodic:v:12:y:2014:i:1:p:19108850 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Tiziana Assenza & Domenico Delli Gatti & Jakob Grazzini & Giorgio Ricchiuti, 2016. "Heterogeneous Firms and International Trade: The role of productivity and financial fragility," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def042, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    20. Giuseppe Mastromatteo, 2011. "The Debate on the Crisis: Recent Reappraisals of the Concept of Functional Finance," DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Economia e Finanza ief0105, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    21. Paul Smoke, 2013. "Why Theory and Practice are Different: The Gap Between Principles and Reality in Subnational Revenue Systems," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1313, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    22. Paul Smoke, 2014. "Why theory and practice are different: The gap between principles and reality in subnational revenue systems," Chapters,in: Taxation and Development: The Weakest Link?, chapter 9, pages 287-325 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal federalism; Tax transparency; Agency Model; Property tax.;

    JEL classification:

    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation

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