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Redistribution Through Public Employment: The Case of Italy

  • Alberto Alesina
  • Stephan Danninger
  • Massimo Rostagno

This paper examines the regional distribution of public employment in Italy. It documents two sets of facts. This first is the use of public employment as a subsidy from the North to the less wealthy South. We calculate that about half of the wage bill in the South of Italy can be identified as a subsidy. Both the size of public employment and the level of wages are used as a redistributive device. The second set of facts concerns the effects of a subsidized public employment on individuals' attitudes toward job search, education, 'risk taking' activities etc. Public employment discourages the development of market activities in the South.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w7387.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7387.

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Date of creation: Oct 1999
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Publication status: published as Albert Alesina & Stephan Danninger & Massimo Rostagno, 2001. "Redistribution Through Public Employment: The Case of Italy," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan Journals, vol. 48(3), pages 2.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7387
Note: PE
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  1. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 2000. "Redistributive Public Employment," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 219-241, September.
  2. Gundlach, Erich & Wossmann, Ludger & Gmelin, Jens, 2001. "The Decline of Schooling Productivity in OECD Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(471), pages C135-47, May.
  3. Ehrenberg, Ronald G. & Schwarz, Joshua L., 1987. "Public-sector labor markets," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 1219-1260 Elsevier.
  4. Marianne Bertrand & Erzo F.P. Luttmer & Sendhil Mullainathan, 1998. "Network Effects and Welfare Cultures," NBER Working Papers 6832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Coate, Stephen & Morris, Stephen, 1995. "On the Form of Transfers in Special Interests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1210-35, December.
  6. Erzo Luttmer, . "Network Effects and Welfare Cultures," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 98-13, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  7. Randall W. Eberts & Timothy J. Gronberg, 1992. "Wagner's hypothesis: a local perspective," Working Paper 9202, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  8. Borjas, George J., 1986. "The earnings of state government employees in the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 156-173, March.
  9. Gregory, Robert G. & Borland, Jeff, 1999. "Recent developments in public sector labor markets," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 53, pages 3573-3630 Elsevier.
  10. Richard B. Freeman & Casey Ichniowski, 1988. "When Public Sector Workers Unionize," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free88-1, October.
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