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How does fiscal decentralization affect within-regional disparities in well-being? Evidence from health inequalities in Italy

Cinzia Di Novi (), Massimiliano Piacenza (), Silvana Robone and Gilberto Turati ()

No 2015:21, Working Papers from Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari"

Abstract: This paper aims at investigating empirically the impact of fiscal decentralization reforms on inequality in well-being. In particular, we look at the effects on health inequalities following the assignment of larger tax power to the Italian Regions for financing their health expenditure, starting from the end of the Nineties. Exploiting large differences in the size of the tax base across Regions, we find that fiscal decentralization processes that attribute a greater tax power to lower government tiers, besides reducing inefficiencies of healthcare policies, seem to be effective in reducing also within-regional disparities in health outcomes. However, the degree of economic development � on which depends the actual fiscal autonomy from Central government � significantly affects the effectiveness of these reforms and highlights the importance to take properly into account the specific features of the context where the decentralization of power is implemented.

Keywords: fiscal decentralization; regional governments; healthcare policy; health inequalities. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H75 I14 I18 R50 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 27 pages
Date: 2015
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur, nep-hap and nep-ure
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