New paper

Abstract: This study analyzes the association between the environmental performance of waste management and occurrences of corruption and maladministration. Italy is considered one of the most corrupt Western European countries; its high corruption levels have been highlighted for decades. In Italy, waste management has frequently garnered interest during crises and emergencies, owing to problems faced in terms of waste collection, transport, and treatment. The existence of a relationship between corruption and urban solid waste management, which is one of the most relevant services of general interest, needs investigation. The study aims to investigate the potential impact of corruption and public maladministration on Italy’s waste management environmental performance. Sixty-six Italian provinces for which relevant data were available over a 3-year period (2015–2017) were studied, and propensity score matching under the potential outcomes framework of causality was applied. Official data on the number of convictions for crimes committed against the public administration were used. The results demonstrated that provinces with higher levels of corruption and maladministration also had higher production of urban waste per capita, requiring further management and treatment; thus, more opportunities exist to commit crimes while pursuing private interests at the expense of public administrations and citizens. No relevant differences were found with reference to separate-waste collection rates and landfill use.

 

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Graphic image: Fabio Pomini – fabiocpgrafica@gmail.com
Photo: Absolut Vision on Unsplash