Multilevel governance at work: evidence from Structural Funds management in Lombardia, Italy
Multilevel governance is widely recognized as one of the striking features of local development policy implementation and management. In Lombardia, Italy, this framework has been applied in the context of European Regional Development Fund actions in order to increase the number and quality of projects. As a consequence the governance of regional development policies now has new meta-actors: the Programmi Integrati per lo Sviluppo Locale (PISL) aimed at promoting and soliciting projects to be submitted for funding by the regional government. In this paper we evaluate the impact of this new governance structure by estimating a discrete choice model over a sample of more than 6000 projects submitted for funding to the Regional Government of Lombardia. We find that projects within the context of the PISL have a slightly greater probability of being funded, although we cannot exclude the existence of adverse selection because we also find that those projects are, on average, of lower quality from a purely formal viewpoint. We finally argue in favour of this new governance structure, even though we identify some critical points to be addressed in the next planning period in order to enhance the effectiveness of development policies.
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