DEMS Economics Seminar: Anna Maria Mayda (Georgetown University)

Wednesday, March 20 at 12pm, Seminar room 2104, Building U7-2nd floor

Do immigrants hurt local public finances? Evidence from Italy


The DEMS Economics Seminar series is proud to host   

Anna Maria Mayda

(Georgetown University)

with R.D. Mariani, F.C. Rosati, and A. Sparacino



 In this paper we estimate the causal impact of immigration to Italy on local public finances, at the municipality level (Comuni), between 2008 and 2015. We make use of administrative data from SIOPE and MEF to analyze revenues and expenditures disaggregated by type. We find that, when immigrants arrive, total (current plus capital) revenues increase while total expenditures are not affected, giving rise to an increase in the surplus of the municipality (all outcome variables in the paper are defined in per capita terms). The arrival of immigrants increases current revenues and, in particular, property tax revenues, fees and other revenues, as well as transfers from other levels of government. We show that there is an increase in property tax revenues from “secondary residences,” which are often rented out and are subject to higher taxation compared to owner-occupied units. On the expenditure side, immigrant inflows lead to greater current spending in total and on various items such as: garbage collection, local police, cultural programs, and public transportation. Capital expenditures decrease instead, when immigrants arrive.

The seminar will be in presence, Seminar Room 2104, Building U7-2nd floor