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Causes and Consequences of Bailing out Expectations of Subcentral Governments: Theory and Evidence from the Italian Regions

  • Fabio Padovano

    (CREM-CNRS and Condorcet Center, University of Rennes 1 (France) & DIPES-Università Roma Tre (Italy))

This paper examines the strategic interactions among the central and a subcentral government where incomplete information forces both to form expectations about the other’s behaviour, especially the probability that the central government will bail out the local one. Various determinants and outcomes of the strategic interaction are explored. The model generates empirical restrictions about the central government’s transfer decisions and the lower government’s spending behaviour. These restrictions are tested on a sample of 20 Italian Regions. Data show that bailing out expectations are a quantitatively important component of local government spending.

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Paper provided by Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS in its series Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) with number 201128.

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Date of creation: Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:tut:cremwp:201128
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  1. Maria Flavia Ambrosanio & Massimo Bordignon & Floriana Cerniglia, 2008. "Constitutional reforms, fiscal decentralization and regional fiscal flows in Italy," DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Economia e Finanza ief0084, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
  2. Timothy Goodspeed, 2002. "Bailouts in a Federation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 409-421, August.
  3. Cannari Luigi & D'Alessio G., 2002. "La distribuzione del reddito e della ricchezza nelle regioni italiane," Rivista economica del Mezzogiorno, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 4, pages 809-848.
  4. Arulampalam, Wiji & Dasgupta, Sugato & Dhillon, Amrita & Dutta, Bhaskar, 2008. "Electoral Goals and Center-State Transfers: A Theoretical Model and Empirical Evidence from India," IZA Discussion Papers 3376, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Padovano, Fabio, 2012. "The drivers of interregional policy choices: Evidence from Italy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 324-340.
  6. Kornai, Janos, 1986. "The Soft Budget Constraint," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(1), pages 3-30.
  7. Pettersson-Lidbom, Per & Dahlberg, Matz, 2003. "An Empirical Approach for Evaluating Soft Budget Constraints," Working Paper Series 2003:28, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  8. Jonathan A. Rodden & Gunnar S. Eskeland (ed.), 2003. "Fiscal Decentralization and the Challenge of Hard Budget Constraints," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262182297, June.
  9. Per Pettersson-Lidbom, 2010. "Dynamic Commitment and the Soft Budget Constraint: An Empirical Test," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 154-79, August.
  10. Gaimpaolo Arachi & Alberto Zanardi, 2004. "Designing Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations: Some Insights from the Recent Italian Reform," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 25(3), pages 325-365, September.
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