Lucio Picci

Lucio Picci

Full Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Bologna

Speaker/ thursday May 31


Has corruption in Italy increased? And has its nature changed over time? Lucio Picci addresses these issues in his lecture, which takes its cue from a series of preliminary questions. The first one focuses on what corruption is – an issue not to be taken for granted, because the word is of common usage and encompasses many different meanings, some of them contradictory. The second question considers how it can be measured – a complex problem to which unfortunately we can provide only partial answers. But it is especially difficult to assess the changes in corruption over time, and so we must be cautious when drawing conclusions about its evolution in Italy. What we can sustain is that the nature of corruption has changed over time, since Tangentopoli. While the considerations that will be offered undoubtedly leave some questions unanswered, they may hopefully contribute indirectly to a better understanding of the highly complex and debated theme of corruption. Finally, they shed some light on an overarching question concerning the role of civic consciousness and the possibilities of “designing” actions, or policies, in this regard.

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Lucio Picci is a full professor of Economic Policy at the University of Bologna. He earned his Ph.D at the University of California (San Diego). He works on themes at the intersection between the economic disciplines, the economics of technological innovation and political science, and is particularly interested in the problem of corruption and the role of reputation-based incentives in public policy. He has worked for international organizations such as the European Commission and the World Bank, and has collaborated with various administrations in the Italian government. He is a member of the “Commission to guarantee the quality of statistic information” for the Presidency of the Council of Ministers in Italy. His research work has been published in the “American Journal of Political Science”, “Journal of Business & Economic Statistics”, “Research Policy”, “The Review of Economics and Statistics and The World Bank Economic Review”. His latest book, Reputation-based Governance (Stanford University Press, 2011) proposes a model of public governance based on strong reputation-based incentives. With Alberto Vannucci he is currently writing Lo Zen e l’arte dell’anticorruzione (Altraeconomia).

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