The political economy of cultural spending: evidence from Italian cities
- 691 Downloads
We investigate the relationship between Italian municipalities’ spending on culture in the 1990s and 2000s and a number of political variables—such as a left/right dummy, an election-year dummy and a term-limit indicator—controlling, among other things, for economic and socio-demographic characteristics of the population, the level of human capital and instruction, proxies of social capital, the extent of private financing of cultural provisions and touristic and artistic relevance. We use a panel-data regression analysis and find that, indeed, some determinants of public expenditures on culture are political. In particular, we identify an electoral cycle in which the incumbent spends less on culture in an election year. This result is robust for variations in the empirical model accounting for both the persistence and spatial interdependence of cultural expenditures by municipalities.
KeywordsPublic cultural expenditure Political economy Local government
JEL ClassificationH44 H76 Z11
We thank Fabio Padovano and IREF for the political data; ACRI for the data on cultural spending of Fondazioni Bancarie; Paolo Buonanno for the data on social capital; Elvia Melzani and Valentina Formenti for research assistance. We are grateful to two anonymous referees for their valuable comments and suggestions. We thank the participants of the 16th ACEI International Conference on Cultural Economics in Copenhagen, the XX SIEP Italian Conference on Public Economics in Pavia, and the annual research workshop at our Department for helpful comments and suggestions.
- Alesina, A., Cohen, G. D., & Roubini, N. (1997). Political cycles and the macroeconomy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Alesina, A., & Tabellini, G. (1990). Voting on the budget deficits. American Economic Review, 80, 37–49.Google Scholar
- Allers, M. A., & Elhorst, J. P. (2005). Tax mimicking and yardstick competition among local governments in the Netherlands. International Tax and Public Finance, 12(4), 493–513.Google Scholar
- Anselin, L. (1988a). Spatial econometrics, methods and moments. Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
- Baumol, W. J., & Bowen, W. G. (1966). Performing arts: The economic dilemma. New York: The Twentieth Century Fund.Google Scholar
- Bodo, C. (2006). Indagine sulla spesa pubblica per la cultura in Italia negli anni 2000, AEC (commissioned by Ministry of Culture (MiBAC)), unpublished paper.Google Scholar
- Bodo, C., & Bodo, S. (2007). Country profile—Italy. In Compendium of cultural policies and trends in Europe. Council of Europe, available at: www.culturalpolicies.net/web/profiles-download.php.
- Bodo, C., & Spada, C. (Eds.). (2004). Rapporto sull’economia della cultura in Italia 1990–2000. Bologna: Il Mulino.Google Scholar
- Buettner, T. (2001). Local business taxation and competition for capital: The choice of the tax rate. Regional Science and Urban Economics, 31(2–3), 215–245.Google Scholar
- Burridge, P. (1980). On the Cliff-Ord test for spatial autocorrelation. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society B, 42, 107–108.Google Scholar
- Dalle Nogare, C. (1997). Ideological polarisation, coalition governments and delays in stabilisation. University of Glasgow Discussion Paper no. 9710Google Scholar
- Dalle Nogare, C. (2000). I governi di coalizione sono tutti “fiscally irresponsible”? Un’indagine empirica con l’utilizzo della cluster analysis, Politica Economica, I.Google Scholar
- Di Lascio, V., & Segre, G. (2007). Il contributo delle fondazioni di origine bancaria alla spesa delle amministrazioni locali per la cultura e i beni culturali. SIEP working paper no. 600Google Scholar
- Frey, B., & Pommerehne, W. (1990). Muses and Markets. Oxford and Cambridge, MA: Basil and Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Getzner, M. (2004). Cultural policies and fiscal federalism. Public Finance and Management, 4(1), 21–50.Google Scholar
- Introini, L., & De Benedetto, M. (2007). Le politiche culturali nelle grandi città. In R. Grossi (Ed.), La cultura per un nuovo modello di sviluppo. Federculture e Allemandi e C., TorinoGoogle Scholar
- Istituto Centrale del Restauro. (1996). Carta del Rischio. Istituto Centrale del Restauro, Ministero dei Beni Culturali.Google Scholar
- Jeanty, P. W. (2010a). anketest: Stata module to perform diagnostic tests for spatial autocorrelation in the residuals from OLS, SAR, IV and IV-SAR models. Available from http://ideas.repec.org/c/boc/bocode/s457113.html.
- Jeanty, P. W. (2010b). splagvar: Stata module to generate spatially lagged variables, construct the Moran scatter plot, and calculate global Moran’s I statistics. Available from http://ideas.repec.org/c/boc/bocode/s457112.html.
- Jeanty, P. W. (2010c). spseudor2: Stata module to calculate goodness-of-fit measures in spatial autoregressive models. Available from http://ideas.repec.org/c/boc/bocode/s457208.html.
- Perotti, R. (1996). Fiscal consolidation in Europe: Composition matters. American Economic Review, 86, 105–111.Google Scholar
- Segre, G. (2000). Fondazioni senza fondatore. Storia natura e modello di funzionamento delle fondazioni bancarie. In L. Filippini (Ed.), Economia delle fondazioni. Bologna: Il Mulino.Google Scholar
- Smart, M., & Sturm, D. M. (2006). Term limits and electoral accountability. CEP Discussion Papers no. 0770, Centre for Economic Performance, LSEGoogle Scholar
- Wooldridge, J. M. (2002). Econometric panel data, 2nd edn. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- 212 fondazioni: chi investe in cultura e come, in VI Yearly Report on Foundations edited by Il Giornale dell’Arte, Il Giornale dell’ArteGoogle Scholar