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The Flypaper Effect: Evidence from the Italian National Health System

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  • Levaggi, Rosella
  • Zanola, Roberto

Abstract

Public expenditure reduction in Italy is achieved through a revision of social security and health care programmes. In particular, public health expenditure control has been implemented through a reform that imposes more stringent budget rules at local level and a considerable reduction in the grants-in-aid from central government. The response to a decrease in categorical lump-sum grants from the central to local governments might result in an asymmetrical response to intergovernmental grants: local spending is highly responsive to increases in grants, but it is relatively insensitive to grants reduction [Stine, 1994; Gramkhar and Oates, 1996]. In our paper we have estimated this hypothesis using a sample of cross-sectional and time- observations covering the 20 Italian regions over the period 1989-1993. Two different models have been estimated based on different budget balance rules. The empirical results of our model show the existence of a standard and a super flypaper effect in both models. The introduction of the soft-budget constraint hypothesis results in a stronger effect of grants and a lower response of own resources which shows that before reducing expenditure regional governments prefer to incur some deficit.

Suggested Citation

  • Levaggi, Rosella & Zanola, Roberto, 2000. "The Flypaper Effect: Evidence from the Italian National Health System," POLIS Working Papers 10, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
  • Handle: RePEc:uca:ucapdv:10
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. János Kornai, 2014. "The soft budget constraint," Acta Oeconomica, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 64(supplemen), pages 25-79, November.
    2. Qian, Yingyi & Roland, Gerard, 1998. "Federalism and the Soft Budget Constraint," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1143-1162, December.
    3. Goodspeed, Timothy J., 1998. "The Relationship Between State Income Taxes and Local Property Taxes: Education Finance in New Jersey," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 51(2), pages 219-238, June.
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    5. M. Dewatripont & E. Maskin, 1995. "Credit and Efficiency in Centralized and Decentralized Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(4), pages 541-555.
    6. Gamkhar, Shama & Oates, Wallace E., 1996. "Asymmetries in the Response to Increases and Decreases in Intergovernmental Grants: Some Empirical Findings," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 49(4), pages 501-12, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    flypaper effect; health care; Italy; soft-budget constraint;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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