Lisa Grazzini Patrizia Lattarulo Marika Macchi Alessandro Petretto

Asymmetric Decentralization: Some Insights for the Italian Case

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The aim of this paper is to analyze the requests of asymmetric decentralization that have been recently proposed in Italy by Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna in light of the tiny economic literature on asymmetric federalism, and the current institutional setup. On the basis of article 116, paragraph 3 of the Italian Constitution, we retrace the steps that have been made up to now: from the three original regional requests to the Preliminary Agreements signed in February 2018, and the following Preliminary Agreements signed in February 2019. Attention is focused on three of the subject matters for which a higher degree of decentralization has been requested: health, education, and public finance and regional fiscal coordination. We then analyze the types of funding which could be given to regions to finance their additional supply of goods and services by focusing on three specific criteria: historical costs, national average costs, and regional government expenditure standard needs.


  • asymmetric decentralization
  • multilevel governance
  • federalism
  • Italian regions


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