Politics, Institutions and Public Policy
Random Auditor Assignment and Municipal Fiscal Performance in Italy. In 2011, in order to strengthen oversight and sound municipal budgets, Italy switched from allowing mayors to appoint municipal auditors to a system of random assignment of auditors. Taking advantage of the rollout of the reform in cities over time, Vannutelli examines the effects and finds significant improvements in the governments’ net surpluses and debt repayments. These are achieved through revenue-based consolidation, not by cutting spending. Municipalities that were at more risk of corruption showed larger effects, as did those towns that were assigned more distant, or less connected, auditors. Vannutelli’s findings highlight the importance of independent auditing of government institutions.
Decarolis, F., R. Fisman, P. Pinotti, S. Vannutelli, and Y. Wang. 2022. Gender and bureaucratic corruption: Evidence from two countries. The Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization ewab041.
Fisman, R., I. Kuziemko, and S. Vannutelli. 2021. Distributional preferences in larger groups: Keeping up with the Joneses and keeping track of the tails. Journal of the European Economic Association 19(2): 1407–38.