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Sending the pork home: birth town bias in transfers to Italian municipalities

Carozzi, Felipe and Repetto, Luca (2016) Sending the pork home: birth town bias in transfers to Italian municipalities. Journal of Public Economics, 134. pp. 42-52. ISSN 0047-2727

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2015.12.009

Abstract

We ask whether the birthplaces of Italian members of Parliament are favoured in the allocation of central government transfers. Using a panel of municipalities for the years between 1994 and 2006, we find that municipal governments of legislators' birth towns receive larger transfers per capita. Exploiting variation in birthplaces induced by parliamentary turnover for estimation, we find that this effect is driven by legislators who were born in a town outside their district of election. As a result, we argue that our findings cannot be a consequence of re-election incentives, the usual motivation for pork-barrel policies in the literature. Rather, politicians may be pursuing other personal motives. In line with this hypothesis, we find that the birth town bias essentially disappears when legislative elections are near. We explore several possible mechanisms behind our results by matching parliamentarians to a detailed dataset on local level administrators.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-public...
Additional Information: © 2016 Elsevier B.V.
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
JEL classification: H - Public Economics > H5 - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
H - Public Economics > H7 - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations > H72 - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
H - Public Economics > H7 - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations > H77 - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism; Secession
Sets: Departments > Geography and Environment
Collections > Economists Online
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2016 16:16
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2019 02:20
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/64867

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