Redistribution Through Public Employment: The Case of Italy
50 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2000 Last revised: 10 Mar 2021
Date Written: October 1999
This paper examines the regional distribution of public employment in Italy. It documents two sets of facts. This first is the use of public employment as a subsidy from the North to the less wealthy South. We calculate that about half of the wage bill in the South of Italy can be identified as a subsidy. Both the size of public employment and the level of wages are used as a redistributive device. The second set of facts concerns the effects of a subsidized public employment on individuals' attitudes toward job search, education, 'risk taking' activities etc. Public employment discourages the development of market activities in the South.
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