The Electoral Impact of Wealth Redistribution. Evidence from the Italian Land Reform

78 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2019

See all articles by Bruno Caprettini

Bruno Caprettini

University of Zurich

Lorenzo Casaburi

Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research

Miriam Venturini

University of Zurich - Department of Economics

Date Written: February 15, 2019

Abstract

We study the political consequences of a major land reform in Italy, which split large estates and transferred land to small owners. Using a panel spatial regression discontinuity design, we show that the reform benefited the incumbent Christian Democrat party. The electoral benefits persist for four decades. We conjecture that the reform generated a cooperative political equilibrium in which voters in treated towns supported the candidates and the agenda of the incumbent party, and the party promoted the interests of these towns. Analysis of fiscal transfers, public sector employment, and referendum voting supports this hypothesis.

Keywords: land reform, redistribution, election, Italy

JEL Classification: P16, Q15, N54, D72

Suggested Citation

Caprettini, Bruno and Casaburi, Lorenzo and Venturini, Miriam, The Electoral Impact of Wealth Redistribution. Evidence from the Italian Land Reform (February 15, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3335191 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3335191

Bruno Caprettini (Contact Author)

University of Zurich ( email )

Zürich
Switzerland

Lorenzo Casaburi

Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research ( email )

579 Serra Mall at Galvez St.
Stanford, CA 94305-6015
United States

Miriam Venturini

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

Zürich
Switzerland

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
19
Abstract Views
208
PlumX Metrics