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Measuring Quality of Government in EU Regions across Space and Time

Journal article
Authors Nicholas Charron
Victor Lapuente
Paola Annoni
Published in Papers in Regional Science
Volume 98
Issue 5
Pages 1925-1953
ISSN 1056-8190
Publication year 2019
Published at Quality of Government Institute (QoG)
Department of Political Science
Pages 1925-1953
Language en
Keywords Europe, Governance, Sub-national, Corruption, Time-series
Subject categories Political Science, Public Administration Studies


A wave of recent cross‐national research has pointed to the positive consequences for countries with high levels of ‘quality of government’ (QoG), broadly defined, such as corruption, impartiality, and quality of public services (Mauro 2004; Norris 2012; Holmberg et al 2009). Yet the question of how QoG varies at the sub‐national level is still widely overlooked, in particular with measures that are available over time. To address it, we present the third round of data from the regional ‘European Quality of Government Index’ (EQI) survey (Charron, Dijkstra and Lapuente 2014; Charron, Lapuente and Rothstein 2013), collected in 2017 and built upon the opinions of 78.000 respondents in 193 regions from 21 European countries. The data provides several contributions to the literature. First, while the majority of QoG‐type indices rely on expert assessments, the EQI relies on the assessments of citizens, who are the on‐the‐ground consumers of public services. Second, the data begins to show trends on QoG variation over time, as well as across European regions. Consequently, this data is the most comprehensive sub‐national data to date; mapping of QoG within and across EU countries over the past decade. Building on previous rounds of data collected in 2010 and 2013, the 2017 EQI, which is published free for scholarly use, builds on both perceptions and experiences of citizens in public service areas such as health care, education, and law enforcement. This paper presents the results of the latest survey, improved with respect to the previous ones, discussion of trends across space and over time, as well as interesting avenues for future research that we detect across European regions.

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