Keywords: public administration in Italy, industrial organization, efficiency, political economy
The article develops a synthetic analysis of the structure and the dynamics of Public administration in Italy, according to an Industrial Organization (IO) approach. The emerging picture is rather critical as it points out that this structure is not coherent with many specific evaluation criteria generally applied in IO procedures. In particular, the paper emphasizes two fundamental causes of the modest performances: the lack of incentives, like rivalry and contestability, toward efficiency within the public administration and the diffusion of soft budget constraints in the decentralised public bodies. Both phenomena are explained in terms of the modern Political economy approach to the good (or bad) government. The paper concludes with some general criteria for reforming the structure of Italian Public administration.