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  • 1.
    Carozzi, Felipe
    et al.
    London School of Economics.
    Repetto, Luca
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
    Distributive Politics inside the City?: The Political Economy of Spain’s Plan E2016Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    We study the allocation of investment projects by municipal governments across groups of voters using data from a fiscal stimulus program carried out in Spain between 2009 and 2011. This program provided municipalities with a large endowment to spend in public investments and required the geocoding of each individual project. Combining these data with disaggregated election information at the census area level, we study whether politicians use expenditures to target their supporters or to raise turnout. Estimates from regression, matching and RDD methods show no evidence of local governments targeting areas of core support. Instead, investment goes disproportionately to low turnout areas, suggesting that politiciansuse funds to increase participation. We confirm this hypothesis by showing that, in the following elections, turnout is increased in areas that received more investment. Our results suggest that mobilization can be a strong force in shaping the allocation of resources acrossvoter groups within cities.

  • 2.
    Carozzi, Felipe
    et al.
    Dept. of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, United Kingdom.
    Repetto, Luca
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
    Sending the pork home: Birth town bias in transfers to Italian municipalities2016In: Journal of Public Economics, ISSN 0047-2727, E-ISSN 1879-2316, Vol. 134, 42-52 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We ask whether the birthplaces of Italian members of Parliament are favoured in the allocation of central government transfers. Using a panel of municipalities for the years between 1994 and 2006, we find that municipal governments of legislators' birth towns receive larger transfers per capita. Exploiting variation in birthplaces induced by parliamentary turnover for estimation, we find that this effect is driven by legislators who were born in a town outside their district of election. As a result, we argue that our findings cannot be a consequence of re-election incentives, the usual motivation for pork-barrel policies in the literature. Rather, politicians may be pursuing other personal motives. In line with this hypothesis, we find that the birth town bias essentially disappears when legislative elections are near. We explore several possible mechanisms behind our results by matching parliamentarians to a detailed dataset on local level administrators.

  • 3.
    Repetto, Luca
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
    Political budget cycles with informed voters:evidence from Italy2016Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    I exploit a reform that required Italian municipalities to disclose their balance sheetsbefore elections to study whether having more informed voters aects the political budgetcycle. To start, investment spending in the year before elections is 28.5% higher thanin the election year and this increase is mainly nanced with new debt and sales of publicassets. Taking advantage of the staggered timing of municipal elections, I estimate thatthe reform reduced this pre-electoral spending increase by around one-third. I also studythe role of local newspapers in disseminating municipal nancial information to votersand I nd that the reduction in spending after the reform is twice as strong in provinceswith above-median local newspapers sales per capita. I interpret these results as evidencethat mayors react to more informed voters by reducing spending manipulation.

  • 4.
    Repetto, Luca
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
    Solis, Alex
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
    The Price of Inattention: Evidence from the Swedish Housing Market2017Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Do behavioral biases affect prices in a high-stake market? We study the role of left-digitbias in the purchase of an apartment, one of the most important assets in a household’sportfolio. Left-digit bias is the inability to fully process digits after the first, perceivingprices just below a round number (such as $3.99) as cheaper than their roundcounterpart ($4). We start by documenting that apartments listed at just-below asking prices are sold at a 3-5% higher final price after an auction. This effect appears not to bedriven by i) differences in observable characteristics; ii) differences in real estate agents’behavior; or iii) institutional characteristics of the market. We show that apartments using just-below prices attract more bidders and bids, leading to higher competition and to a higher final price. Our results suggest that inattentive buyers might be losing roughlyhalf a year of disposable income.

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