Why Do Some Regions in Europe Have a Higher Quality of Government?

Nicholas Charron, Victor Lapuente

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    While most of the quantitative literature on quality of government has focused on national differences, subnational variation has been neglected, mainly due to the lack of data. This study explores subnational divergences in quality of government (understood as control of corruption, impartial treatment of citizens, and government effectiveness) using newly created subnational data including over 70 European regions. It addresses the institutional puzzle of why regions which share so many formal institutions (e.g., Northern and Southern Italy) do diverge so much in quality of government. Similar to recent political economy scholarship, our theory points to historical path dependencies. The study argues that a major factor explaining regional path dependencies is the consolidation of clientelistic networks in those regions where rulers have historically (seventeenth to nineteenth centuries) less constraints to their decisions.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Politics
    Volume75
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)567-582
    ISSN0022-3816
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013

    Cite this

    Charron, Nicholas ; Lapuente, Victor . / Why Do Some Regions in Europe Have a Higher Quality of Government?. In: Journal of Politics. 2013 ; Vol. 75, No. 3. pp. 567-582.
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    Why Do Some Regions in Europe Have a Higher Quality of Government? / Charron, Nicholas; Lapuente, Victor .

    In: Journal of Politics, Vol. 75, No. 3, 07.2013, p. 567-582.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    AB - While most of the quantitative literature on quality of government has focused on national differences, subnational variation has been neglected, mainly due to the lack of data. This study explores subnational divergences in quality of government (understood as control of corruption, impartial treatment of citizens, and government effectiveness) using newly created subnational data including over 70 European regions. It addresses the institutional puzzle of why regions which share so many formal institutions (e.g., Northern and Southern Italy) do diverge so much in quality of government. Similar to recent political economy scholarship, our theory points to historical path dependencies. The study argues that a major factor explaining regional path dependencies is the consolidation of clientelistic networks in those regions where rulers have historically (seventeenth to nineteenth centuries) less constraints to their decisions.

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