Dante Di Matteo Antonella Rita Ferrara Ilaria Mariotti

Place-Based Policies and Political Discontent: The Mediating Role of Local Spending Programmes

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Recent Italian parliamentary elections have revealed individuals’ growing populist attitudes, expression of widespread political discontent. Place-based policies and national spending programmes might play a role in shaping voters’ behaviour and political consensus. Within this context, we exploit the outset of a novel Italian Strategy, aimed to boost development in peripheral areas to investigate this relationship. Besides, we set a quasi-experimental framework using municipal-level data on Italian national elections in 2013 and 2018, and we apply a semi-parametric matching difference-indifferences. The findings suggest that place-based spending programmes mediate the revealed discontent with different magnitudes depending on geographical heterogeneity and previous expenditure levels


  • political discontent
  • place-based policy
  • difference-in-differences


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