Disappointed expectations: Does the Basque country really enjoy such a high level of quality of government -in European standards- when compared to a backward region such as Andalusia?
The quality of government (QoG) is a concept without an undisputed benchmark. To contribute to its clarification, we propose a novel model of analysis that incorporates formal and informal institu-tions and operationalizes such an abstract and debated concept, applying it empirically to the study of two Spanish regions, the Basque Country and Andalusia, which, in principle, have extremely dif-ferent QoG values, according to the European Quality of Government Index (EQI). Our results do not find the differences that might be expected between regions with such different EQI scores. One explanation for this is the excessive weight given in these indices to the perception of the quality of public services, a component notably influenced by the level of public spending in each society. We conclude that QoG indexes need to adequately weight differences in the levels of wealth of the soci-eties being compared.