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Corruption under Austerity

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  • Gianmarco Daniele
  • Tommaso Giommoni

Abstract

We study how policies limiting the spending capacity of local governments may reduce corruption. We exploit the extension of one such policy, the Domestic Stability Pact (DSP), to small Italian municipalities. The DSP led to a decrease in both recorded corruption rates and corruption charges per euro spent. This effect emerges only in areas in which the DSP put a binding cap on municipal capital expenditures. The reduction in corruption is linked to accountability incentives as it emerges mostly in pre-electoral years and for reeligible mayors. We then estimate the impact of the extension of the DSP on local public goods provision in the following years, finding a null effect in the short run. Overall, our findings suggest that budget constraints might induce local governments to curb expenditures in a way that dampens their exposure to corruption without depressing local public goods provision.

Suggested Citation

  • Gianmarco Daniele & Tommaso Giommoni, 2021. "Corruption under Austerity," Working Papers CEB 21-019, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/333940
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Cerrato & Francesco Filippucci, 2022. "The Impact of Austerity Policies on Local Income: Evidence from Italian Municipalities," Working Papers halshs-03665241, HAL.
    2. Andrea Cerrato & Francesco Filippucci, 2022. "The Impact of Austerity Policies on Local Income: Evidence from Italian Municipalities," PSE Working Papers halshs-03665241, HAL.
    3. Bruce, Raphael & Cavgias, Alexsandros & Meloni, Luis & Remígio, Mário, 2022. "Under pressure: Women’s leadership during the COVID-19 crisis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 154(C).
    4. Elliott Ash & Sergio Galletta & Tommaso Giommoni, 2021. "A Machine Learning Approach to Analyze and Support Anti-Corruption Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 9015, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corruption; Austerity; Fiscal rules; European funds; Local public finance; Public procurement;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • K34 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Tax Law

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