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Measurement Assessment in Cross-Country Comparative Analysis: Rasch Modelling on a Measure of Institutional Quality

Journal article
Authors P. Annoni
Nicholas Charron
Published in Social Indicators Research
Volume 141
Issue 1
Pages 31-60
ISSN 0303-8300
Publication year 2019
Published at Quality of Government Institute (QoG)
Pages 31-60
Language en
Keywords European Quality of Government Index, European Union regions, Item response theory, Rasch, measurement equivalence, democracy, scale, Social Sciences - Other Topics, Sociology
Subject categories Sociology


The European Quality of Government Index (EQI) is the only measure of institutional quality available at the regional level in the European Union. The index, published in 2010 and again in 2013, is based on an ad-hoc survey that measures three different broad aspects of governance within countries: corruption, impartiality and quality. The EQI is assessed in this paper for the first time by means of Rasch modelling, a popular Item Response Theory method. It is demonstrated that Rasch modelling allows for a wide scope of validity and consistency tests of surveys of this kind. The analysis helped strengthening the survey, and consequently the index, by highlighting areas for improvement that can be applied to future rounds of the EQI survey. For instance, it allowed for testing the questions equivalence across different countries and respondents' socio-demographic background, the validity and fit of each question's measurement scale and the internal consistency of the EQI domains of corruption, impartiality and quality. Several of the shortcomings that were highlighted by the Rasch analysis will be addressed in the upcoming round of data collection for the third edition of the EQI. The analysis is then expected to have a positive impact on improving the first measure of quality of government in the European Union regions.

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