S. Villani, L. D'Alessio, F. Pica

The issue of standard costs and Southern Italy problems

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Business Administration, Business Economics, State and Local Government, Intergovernmental Relations, Fiscal Federalism

The issue of standard costs is at the centre of Calderoli Bill (A.C. n. 2105), which shall implement the article 119 of the Italian Constitution. In this respect, it should be noted that in economics several formulations of the abovementioned concept of standard cost have been proposed, all of them having very different purposes and contents. In any case, standard costs' size is not "objective", but it refers to the assessment of those entitled to do it, or of those peculiar operators at whom the subject interested in cost evaluation (stakeholder) recognize a technical expertise and a specific role in the governance of the system to which standard costs determination is related. In this article, it is noted that in the article 2, paragraph 2, letter f) of the bill (and, indeed, all over the bill) the issue of cost management has been left out. The crucial point is not only minimizing system's management costs, but also the financial sustainability of the system, for all authorities, in the medium term, that is precisely the question of cost management. In this study, there is an attempt to demonstrate that a technical analysis of these problems is possible. In this respect, an approximation exercise is suggested, which has the only function to test the possibility of one of the possible paths. Certain assumptions made by such an exercise - such as a greater efficiency (a not lower efficiency) of Southern Italy regions, as regards health - has to be considered, in any case, very carefully.

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