The size of political expenses in the medium-large Italian local authorities between efficiency and political legitimation
The phenomenon identified as “the cost of politics” is becoming increasingly widespread and in order to investigate it without falling into clichés, the present work has the purpose to detect and observe the size of this phenomenon to give a support to control activities and provide food for thought in terms of transparency and cutback policy. In a sample of 95 Italian local authorities a comparative method has been used on the annual report item related to political costs. The analysis shows the amount of these expenses in absolute values, that their variability leads to some reflection on the nature of the items accounted under the political costs and that their percentage is not particularly high (leading to some reflection on financial cutback decisions).
Keywords: Political costs and (de)legitimation, accounting transparency, Italian local authorities.