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Sending the pork home: Birth town bias in transfers to Italian municipalities
Dept. of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, United Kingdom.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
2016 (English)In: Journal of Public Economics, ISSN 0047-2727, E-ISSN 1879-2316, Vol. 134, 42-52 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016. Vol. 134, 42-52 p.
Keyword [en]
Pork-barrel politics; Distributive policies; Careers in politics; Political economy
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-288412DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2015.12.009ISI: 000373541100005OAI: diva2:924048
EU, European Research Council, 269868
Available from: 2016-04-27 Created: 2016-04-27 Last updated: 2016-06-20Bibliographically approved

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Repetto, Luca
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