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Tax Limits and Local Democracy

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Based on a theoretical model where state limits on local government policy elicit a move from private value (position issue) to common value (valence issue) voting, I exploit exogenous variation in tax limitation rules in over 7,000 Italian municipalities during the 2000s to show that fiscal restraints provoke a fall in voter turnout and number of mayor candidates, and a rise in elected mayors’ valence proxy and win margins. The evidence is compatible with the hypothesis of hierarchical tax imitations fading the ideological stakes of local elections and favoring valence-based party line crossing, thus questioning the influential accountability postulate of the fiscal decentralization lore

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Paper provided by University of Turin in its series Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers with number 201336.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2013
Handle: RePEc:uto:dipeco:201336
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