Italian woman faces jail for not doing “enough” housework according to husband

This is not an Onion story. And no, you did not travel back in time. It is 2016.

The Guardian reports:

An Italian woman faces six years in jail after her husband accused her of not doing enough cooking and cleaning at home.

Her husband made a formal complaint to the paramilitary Carabinieri police, saying that his wife was slovenly, failed to put meals on the table and left their home in a dreadful mess.

….. The crime, article 572 in the Italian penal code, “punishes whoever mistreats a person in their family or a person entrusted to them for reasons of education, care or custody.”

Her husband, 47, accused her of “bad management of domestic affairs”, in a case that reinforces the image of the harassed Italian wife stirring a steaming pot of pasta sauce while small children run round her feet and the man of the house puts his feet up with a newspaper.

Also this:

It is the second time in a week that the Italian judicial system has shown itself to be less than enlightened when it comes to relations between the sexes.

On Wednesday, a court in Sicily ruled that a male boss who was accused of groping three female colleagues was not guilty of sexual harassment because his behaviour was playful, not “lascivious”.

The court in Palermo said that 65-year-old Domenico Lipari had been driven by an immature sense of humour, rather than a desire for sexual gratification.

 

Corruption and Punishment

This paper contributes to the growing literature on anti-corruption accountability by comparing individual decision making under different norms and institutions. Employing an experimental methodology, I examine how the propensity to report corruption differs between Northern and Southern Italians, two groups that experience very different levels of corruption in everyday life. Further, the experiment measures behavior under two different institutional environments: a “strict enforcement” condition where reports always result in sanctions against perpetrators, and a “lax enforcement” condition where 50% of reports are ignored. I find no difference in the behavior of Northern and Southern Italians in the lax enforcement condition, but in the strict enforcement condition, Southerners are much more likely to denounce wrongdoing, while the behavior of Northerners remains unchanged. These results demonstrate that exposure to corruption may strengthen accountability norms, but only in the presence of high quality enforcement institutions.

That’s Nan Zhang in a fascinating paper on corruption in Italy.

As recent cases in the New York state legislature, Illinois, and the expense scandals in the UK Parliament demonstrate, the difference between OECD states and the developing world when it comes to corruption is simply about enforcement. It’s not, strictly speaking, because of a fundamental difference between OECD and non-OECD states in the pro-social tendencies of politicians. There are no good politicians or public officials, just properly incentivized ones. Most OECD states have managed to reduce corruption by having a credible deterrent in the form of functional judicial systems. Corrupt people go to jail.

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 11.03.49 AMFor instance, over the last 15 years Kenya has seen a surge in the reporting of corruption scandals but to little effect. The most recent scandal to break is one involving the deputy president (pictured above), who allegedly inflated a hospital construction project by Kshs 11b (US $115m!!!) Since no one gets punished, the fear of getting exposed has little deterrence value. It is common knowledge that “everyone” is corrupt and gets away with it. In such an environment, you are a sucker if you are clean.

The obvious lesson here is that it is not enough to set up anti-corruption commissions. What reduces corruption is the credible threat that the corrupt will be punished.

H/T Tiago Peixoto.

TP Mazembe beat Brazil’s Internacional 2-0

Many of you may not know TP Mazembe, the reigning African club champions. The Lubumbashi (DR Congo) club surprised soccer football enthusiasts the world over by beating Brazilian champions Internacional in the world club championship semi final. They will play either the European champions Inter Milan or Seongnam Ilhwa of Korea in the final. This is the first time that an African side has reached the finals of a major international football tournament.

Check out both goals here.