Lorenzo Casaburi

Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research
Stanford University
John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Building
366 Galvez Street
Stanford, CA 94305-6015


NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2015Ghost-House Busters: The Electoral Response to a Large Anti Tax Evasion Program
with Ugo Troiano: w21185
The incentives of political agents to enforce tax collection are key determinants of the levels of compliance. We study the electoral response to the Ghost Buildings program, a nationwide anti-tax evasion policy in Italy that used innovative monitoring technologies to target buildings hidden from tax authorities. The program induced monetary and non-monetary benefits for non-evaders. A one standard deviation increase in town-level program intensity leads to a 4.8 percent increase in local incumbent reelection rates. In addition, these political returns are higher in areas with lower tax evasion tolerance and with higher efficiency of public good provision, implying complementarity among enforcement policies, the underlying tax culture, and the quality of the government.

Published: Lorenzo Casaburi & Ugo Troiano, 2016. "Ghost-House Busters: The Electoral Response to a Large Anti–Tax Evasion Program," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(1), pages 273-314. citation courtesy of

May 2014Contract Farming and Agricultural Productivity in Western Kenya
with Michael Kremer, Sendhil Mullainathan
in African Successes, Volume IV: Sustainable Growth, Sebastian Edwards, Simon Johnson, and David N. Weil, editors
We use new data from the administrative records of a large Kenyan sugarcane contract farming scheme to study participation and productivity among outgrowers. First, we relate the origins and the impact of the scheme targeted by our study to the existing literature on contract farming. Second, after providing some institutional background and introducing the data, we look at farmers' participation, focusing on entry, exit, and plot sizes within the scheme. Third, we focus on yields and farmers' net revenues per hectare. After documenting the trends in these variables, we find that producer unobserved heterogeneity and plot size explain a large share of the variance in yields. We conclude by arguing that, in the presence of labor market imperfections that would make plantations inefficient, ...
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