Quality of Government and Corruption from a European Perspective
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Quality of Government and Corruption from a European Perspective

A Comparative Study of Good Government in EU Regions

Nicholas Charron, Victor Lapuente and Bo Rothstein

In this book the authors tackle the concept of ‘quality of government’ (QoG) both conceptually and empirically and apply their focus to EU countries and regions. In a pioneering empirical effort, they map out regional QoG for the first time for 172 NUTS 1 and 2 regions throughout 18 countries in the EU, and provide a detailed methodology. They follow up the quantitative assessment with three case studies demonstrating the wide variation of QoG found within the countries of Italy, Belgium and Romania. The book concludes with important lessons and ideas for future research.
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Chapter 5: Variation in sub-national QoG in Italy and a closer look at QoG in Bolzano and Campania

A Comparative Study of Good Government in EU Regions

Nicholas Charron


According to the data we presented in the previous chapter, no other country in our sample exhibits such wide and significant regional variation as Italy. In a comparative perspective, the final EQI data reveal that the top-performing regions of Italy rank similarly to other regions such as Bavaria in Germany, Salzburg in Austria, País Vasco in Spain, or the score of the country of Ireland for example. The lower-performing regions, however, rank similarly to the majority of regions in Bulgaria or Romania – constituting an enormous gap in regional performance. We find, moreover, that the differences are systematically linked to geography – the small regions in the far north perform the best, the industrial regions in the north and center are moderate QoG performers, and the south, or ‘Mezzogiorno’ regions (particularly the larger ones), ranked lowest. This finding is perfectly in line with a wealth of literature that has investigated numerous aspects of development in Italy, mostly focusing on broad differences between north and south, or between even the ‘Tre Italie’ (‘Three Italys’, Bagnasco 1977). While it is therefore no surprise that we found significant variation in regional QoG in Italy, our research is the first to focus exclusively on QoG and we argue that this study marks a key contribution to the literature worthy of a deeper investigation.

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