Prior to devolution in 1999, governance of schools and hospitals in England and Wales was similar. After devolution, the funding and organization continued to be similar, but the two governments adopted different policies in the pursuit of common objectives. This paper reports the results of two ‘natural experiments’ which compare outcomes in the two countries before and after these policy changes. The governance model of ‘trust and altruism’ resulted in worse reported performance in Wales as compared with England on what were each government's key objectives. We argue that ‘naming and shaming’ worked in England, as compared with Wales, resulting in improved examination performance and eliminating the endemic problem of long waiting times.