Gianfranco Cerea

The State and the territories

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: intergovernmental relations, federalism, state and local budget and expenditures, intergovernmental relations, interjurisdictional differentials and their effects.

The Italian public sector is characterized by a moderate expenditure decentralization, associated with an highly centralized fiscal system. As a consequence, the State expenditures play a fundamental role in determining the disposable resources at local level, in terms of direct provision of public services, social protection and devolutions/transfers to local governments. Using the evidences of the State Accounting Office, this study analyzes the determinants of the regional distribution of the central government expenditures, showing a highly significant, systematic an stable relation between per-capita expenditures and population size, associated with a redistributive component in favor of the less developed areas. This general and equitable rule is violated in regions characterized by «special autonomy», i.e. local governments constitutionally in charge to cover fields of public intervention that are elsewhere duty of the State. Recent federalist reforms and the State budget restrictions partially modified the observed abnormal condition, establishing more uniform resources distribution, also in terms of fiscal residua.

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