This paper analyses the overall duration of public works projects in Italy, as well as that of the individual phases of their realization, using data from the Agency for Territorial Cohesion on projects undertaken under EU cohesion policies. Focusing on projects managed by municipalities in southern Italy, it also explores the relationships between time to completion and some characteristics of the administrative and institutional environment.
More than 40 per cent of the total time to completion is devoted to the design phase. A significant contribution to overall duration comes from a set of 'ancillary activities' of an administrative nature. Time to completion is significantly associated with variables such as the characteristics of the workforce employed by local administrations and the composition of local political bodies. The type of procedure used for awarding the contracts, on the other hand, does not influence time to completion significantly.