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

A law issued to combat political corruption and ma.a in.ltration of city councils in Italy has resulted in episodes of large, unanticipated, temporary contractions in local public spending. Using these episodes as instruments, we estimate the output multiplier of spending cuts at provincial level – controlling for national monetary and .scal policy, and holding the tax burden of local res- idents constant – to be 1.2. The effects of lagged spending, assumed exogenous to current output, bring this estimate up to 1.8. These results suggest that local spending adjustment may be quite consequential for local activity.

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Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 281.

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Date of creation: 05 Apr 2011
Date of revision: 04 Feb 2013
Publication status: Published in American Economic Review, 2014, vol. 104(7), pp. 1–26
Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:281
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  1. Ilzetzki, Ethan & Mendoza, Enrique G. & Végh, Carlos A., 2013. "How big (small?) are fiscal multipliers?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 239-254.
  2. Jonas D. M. Fisher & Ryan Peters, 2009. "Using stock returns to identify government spending shocks," Working Paper Series WP-09-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  3. Acconcia, Antonio & Immordino, Giovanni & Piccolo, Salvatore & Rey, Patrick, 2013. "Accomplice-Witness and Organized Crime: Theory and Evidence from Italy," CEPR Discussion Papers 9543, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. 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.
  5. Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2011. "When Is the Government Spending Multiplier Large?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 78 - 121.
  6. Mertens, Karel & Ravn, Morten O, 2009. "Empirical Evidence on the Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated U.S. Tax Policy Shocks," CEPR Discussion Papers 7370, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Valerie A. Ramey, 2009. "Identifying Government Spending Shocks: It's All in the Timing," NBER Working Papers 15464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Clemens, Jeffrey & Miran, Stephen, 2010. "The effects of state budget cuts on employment and income," MPRA Paper 38715, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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