The paper illustrates the present system of intergovernmental transfers in Italy with a focus on equalization grants. There are presently two separate systems operating in the country. The first one allocates funds to the regions, while the second one finances municipalities. The constitution of 2001 sets the principles for both systems. It introduces the obligation for the state to determine and ensure, by providing adequate financing, uniform essential levels, i.e. standards, of provision across the whole country for a set of basic services assigned to regions and local governments. The implementing legislation (the so called Fiscal Federalism Law of 2009) mandates the use of standard expenditure needs and of fiscal capacity for the allocation of equalization transfers. These are extremely ambitious aims, only partially achieved.
The Regional Health Fund is the dominant regional fund and is allocated, fundamentally, on a slightly modified per capita basis, upon agreement reached among regions and the central government within the State-Regional Governments Conference. The Municipal Solidarity Fund, in existence since 2014, shows more determination to implement the legal mandates. Allocations are determined on the basis of standardized expenditure and fiscal capacity. The Fund has also been subject to almost yearly changes and evolves in a framework of restructuring of the finances of the public sector characterized by continuous changes that make the system extremely difficult to manage, and also to understand.
The paper presents the various steps for the determination of individual allocations and evaluates the merits, but also the difficulties and incongruities of the procedures adopted.
Germany's fiscal federalism has undergone a process of perpetual reform. On the one hand, some tax revenues such as the national corporate income tax generated a lower volume of fiscal resources because of changes in the system, or fluctuated extremely like the local trade tax due to economic effects. On the other hand, the judgement by the Constitutional Court has necessitated a renewal of Germany's equalisation system. Besides illustrating the tax sharing system between the three tiers of government, the main part of this paper deals with the equalisation among the 16 federal states. Moreover, in June 2017 a new system of intergovernmental fiscal relations was stipulated. It is to be implemented from 2020 onwards, and it will change the federal structure of Germany considerably. The legislative package alone comprises 13 constitutional amendments, which the Bundestag and Bundesrat must each adopt by a two-thirds majority. In addition, there are a number of other legislative changes that redefine the cooperation between the central government and the federal states on financial matters. Based on these descriptions of Germany, suggestions are made as to how Spain can avoid pitfalls in the area of fiscal federalism and what lessons they can learn from negative experiences in Germany. Overall Germany has a sound fiscal federalism with minor political mildew.
This study uses age discontinuities in exposure to a law that raised the legal age of marriage for women in Ethiopia to investigate the causal link between child marriage and infant mortality. Using a fuzzy regression discontinuity design, the study shows that laws banning underage marriages could be an effective strategy to tackle child marriage and decrease infant mortality; and estimates that a oneyear delay in women’s age at cohabitation during teenage years causally reduces the probability of infant mortality of the first born by 3.8 percentage points. The impact of child marriage on infant mortality seems to be closely linked to the effect of delaying cohabitation on the age of women at first birth.
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