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Exposing politicians’ ties to criminal organizations: the effects of local government dissolutions on electoral outcomes in southern Italian municipalities

Author

Listed:
  • Gianmarco Daniele

    () (University of Barcelona & IEB & Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB))

  • Benny Geys

    (Norwegian Business School BI)

Abstract

Since 1991, the Italian national government can dissolve municipal councils when infiltration by organized crime is suspected (Law 164/1991). We exploit variation over time and space in the application of this law to study voters’ responses to politicians’ publicly exposed ties to criminal organizations. Using a difference-in-differences approach, we find that public exposure of ties to organized crime significantly depresses turnout in local elections, and negatively impacts the electoral performance of incumbents and purely local political parties. The breach in the local political principal-agent relationship also translates into citizens’ reduced willingness to contribute to the financing of local public goods.

Suggested Citation

  • Gianmarco Daniele & Benny Geys, 2015. "Exposing politicians’ ties to criminal organizations: the effects of local government dissolutions on electoral outcomes in southern Italian municipalities," Working Papers 2015/41, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  • Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:doc2015-41
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Nicola Mastrorocco, 2018. "Organised Crime, Captured Politicians and the Allocation of Public Resources," Trinity Economics Papers tep1018, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2019.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political accountability; voter turnout; elections; mafia; tax compliance;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • H89 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Other
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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