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Central Targets and local Agendas: Missing Lisbon 2010

Maria Alessandra Antonelli () and Veronica Grembi
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Maria Alessandra Antonelli: Sapienza University of Rome

No 6, Public Finance Research Papers from Istituto di Economia e Finanza, DSGE, Sapienza University of Rome

Abstract: In a decentralized setting, are policy targets imposed by the central government on local elected officials effective? And when? We address these questions in Italy, where the central government has set a target for childcare coverage at the municipal level for Southern regions since 2007. We first implement a difference-in-differences estimator where the municipalities already complying with the target comprise the control group. We then implement a triple-difference estimator with the additional control group of municipalities in the bordering Central regions. Our results show that elected officials comply with the target mainly when it is coherent with voters’ preferences (as measured by the characteristics of the resident female population) and in reaction to political incentives (as measured by partisan alignment among levels of government).

Keywords: Central targets; Political Incentives; Local Politicians; Difference-in- Difference-in-Difference (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H42 H72 H75 H77 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 34 pages
Date: 2014-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-pol and nep-pub
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