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Problems in carrying out public works: Mezzogiorno's specific features


  • C. Bentivogli
  • P. Casadio
  • R. Cullino


The several problems faced in carrying out public works in Italy are highlighted particularly by the long times required to perform works and by a frequent rise in prices, compared to what planned. Such problems are influenced by low quality design and a marked overlapping of roles and competences between central governments and local authorities. On the basis of few and mixed available data, we try to pinpoint a set of specific features of public works market functioning in the Mezzogiorno, by making the most of the Bank of Italy's recent surveys. In a previous paper, we have underlined the poor competition and transparency typical of public works Italian market, by breaking down the lags and evolutions of regulations. In this paper we observe mainly the practice, the agents behaviour across the territory, the local factors, which produce very different results, although starting from substantially common regulations across the Country. Different sources highlight a significantly worse mean performance of public works in the Mezzogiorno, where public authorities seem less efficient also in making use of a growing degree of autonomy and flexibility allowed by national regulations. Furthermore, a widespread illegality and corruption weigh heavily on the Mezzogiorno. However, we underline a large variety of performances at territorial level, also within the same big areas and Regions.

Suggested Citation

  • C. Bentivogli & P. Casadio & R. Cullino, 2010. "Problems in carrying out public works: Mezzogiorno's specific features," Rivista economica del Mezzogiorno, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1-2, pages 21-62.
  • Handle: RePEc:mul:jqyfkm:doi:10.1432/32458:y:2010:i:1-2:p:21-62

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    Contracts; Infrastructures; Mezzogiorno;


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