The economics of politics: patronage and political selection in Italy

  • Federico Quaresima
  • Fabio FiorilloEmail author
Original Paper


This article investigates patronage in the Second Italian Republic by considering patronage a fundamental device able to guarantee a party presence in the governance of public bodies. The study sheds light on a particular area of party patronage, namely political appointments concerning legislators; it analyzes the factors which could determine whether a member of Parliament will be appointed to a state-owned enterprise’s board of directors after a legislature, seeking to gain a better understanding of how political actors exploit this opportunity. Direct political connections can be conceptualized as instruments to control and reward politicians and/or strategies to enhance political control over the bureaucracy. The empirical investigation suggests that legislators’ efforts in Parliament play a role in the likelihood of patronage appointments. Education does not seem to significantly increase the probability of receiving a nomination for a seat on public firms’ boards, moreover our result casts doubt on the merits or competencies of the appointed politicians.


Public firms Patronage Appointments of politicians 



Authors thanks Diego Piacentino and two anonymous referees for their comments and suggestions. The usual disclaimers apply.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universita Politecnica delle MarcheAnconaItaly

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