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