Found 40 article(s) for author 'Alberto Alesina'

Political Budget Cycles: Evidence from Italian Cities

Political Budget Cycles: Evidence from Italian Cities. Alberto Alesina, September 2014, Paper. “The introduction of a new real estate tax in Italy in 2011 created a well designed natural experiment to test the strategic choice of fiscal variables (a tax rate) in relation to elections. We find substantial evidence of “political budget cycles”, with municipalities choosing lower tax rates when close to elections. The evidence on political budget cycles is stronger in localities in the South of Italy. The well documented lower level of ”social capital” in this region may account for less attention and lower control of politicians. Cities with large preexisting deficits did not…” Link

 

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Culture and Institutions

Culture and Institutions. Alberto Alesina, September 1, 2014, Paper. “A growing body of empirical work measuring different types of cultural traits has shown that culture matters for a variety of economic outcomes. This paper focuses on one specific aspect of the relevance of culture: its relationship to institutions. We review work with a theoretical, empirical, and historical bent to assess the presence of a two-way causal effect between culture and institutions…” Link

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Family Values and the Regulation of Labor

Family Values and the Regulation of Labor. Alberto Alesina, May 27, 2014, Paper. “To be efficient, flexible labor markets require geographically mobile workers. Otherwise firms can take advantage of workers’ immobility and extract rents at their expense. In cultures with strong family ties, moving away from home is costly. Thus, to limit the rents of firms and to avoid moving, individuals with strong family ties rationally choose regulated labor markets, even though regulation generates higher unemployment and lower incomes. Empirically, we find that individuals who inherit stronger family ties are less mobile,…” Link verified August 21, 2014

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The output effect of fiscal consolidation plans

The output effect of fiscal consolidation plans. Alberto Alesina, May 2014, Paper. “We show that the correct experiment to evaluate the effects of a scale adjustment is the simulation of a multi-year fiscal plan rather than of individual scale shocks. Simulation of scale plans adopted by 16 OECD countries over a 30-year period supports the hypothesis that the effects of consolidations depend on their design. Fiscal adjustments based upon spending cuts are much less costly, in terms of output losses, than tax-based ones and have especially low out-put costs when they consist of permanent rather than stop and go…” Link verified September 8, 2014

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Ethnic Inequality

Ethnic Inequality. Alberto Alesina, April 2014, Paper. “This study explores the consequences and origins of between-ethnicity economic inequality across countries. First, combining satellite images of nighttime luminosity with the historical homelands of ethnolinguistic groups we construct measures of ethnic inequality for a large sample of countries. We also compile proxies of overall spatial inequality and regional inequality across administrative units. Second, we uncover a strong negative association between ethnic inequality and contemporary comparative development; the correlation is also present…” Link 

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Regulation versus Taxation

Regulation versus Taxation. Alberto Alesina, September 16, 2013, Paper. “We study which policy tool and at what level a majority chooses in order to reduce activities with negative externalities. We consider three instruments: a rule that sets an upper limit to the activity which produces the negative externality, a quota that forces a proportional reduction of the activity, and a proportional tax on it. For all instruments the majority chooses levels which are too restrictive when the activity is performed mainly by a small fraction…”  Link verified March 28, 2014

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Immigration, diversity, and economic prosperity

Immigration, diversity, and economic prosperity. Alberto Alesina, August 22, 2013, Paper. “With aging populations in the rich nations and booming labour forces in poor nations, immigration is sure to be a critical policy issue for decades. This column presents research that casts new light on the issue, showing that diversity of immigrants’ origin matters along with their numbers and skill levels. Europeans need to start thinking about immigration as a major, long-term economic policy question that deserves a long-term policy approach. They should move away from the Band-Aid approach that sees policy driven by current events…” Link verified September 8, 2014

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Ethnic Inequality

Ethnic Inequality. Alberto Alesina, July 2013, Paper. “This study explores the consequences and origins of between-ethnicity economic inequality both across and within countries. First, combining satellite images of nighttime luminosity with the historical homelands of ethnolinguistic groups we construct measures of ethnic inequality for a large sample of countries and show that the latter is strongly inversely related to comparative development. Second, differences in geographic endowments across ethnic home-lands explain a sizable portion of ethnic inequality contributing to its persistence over time. Third, exploiting across-district within…” Link verified March 28, 2014

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On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough

On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough. Alberto Alesina, Nathan Nunn, May 2013, Paper. “The study examines the historical origins of existing cross-cultural differences in beliefs and values regarding the appropriate role of women in society. We test the hypothesis that traditional agricultural practices influenced the historical gender division of labor and the evolution of gender norms. We find that, consistent with existing hypotheses, the descendants of societies that traditionally practiced plough agriculture today have less equal gender norms, measured using…” Link Verified October 18, 2014

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Austerity:The Relative Effects of Tax Increases versus Spending Cuts

Austerity: The Relative Effects of Tax Increases versus Spending Cuts. Alberto Alesina, March 7, 2013, Paper. “In a recent New Yorker article, John Cassidy declared, ‘It is official: Economic Austerity doesn’t work.’ By that he meant cutting spending in order to reduce a country’s debt-to-GDP ratio or to grow a country’s economy has failed. His evidence? The failure of the British government to balance its budget and jumpstart economic growth after implementing a series of austerity measures since 2010…”  Link verified March 28, 2014

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