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Passive Modernization? The New Human Development Index and Its Components in Italy’s Regions (1871-2007)

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Author Info

  • Emanuele Felice

    (Departament d'Economia i d'Història Econòmica, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

  • Michelangelo Vasta

    (Department of Economics and Statistics, University of Siena)

Abstract

The article presents and discusses estimates of social and economic indicators for Italy’s regions in benchmark years roughly from Unification to the present day: life expectancy, education, Gdp per capita at purchasing power parity, and the new Human Development Index (HDI). A broad interpretative hypothesis, based on the distinction between passive and active modernization, is proposed to account for the evolution of regional imbalances over the long-run. In the lack of active modernization, Southern Italy converged thanks to passive modernization, i.e., State intervention: however, this was more effective in life expectancy, less successful in education, expensive and as a whole ineffective in Gdp. As a consequence, convergence in the HDI occurred from the late XIX century to the 1970s, but came to a sudden halt in the last decades of the XX century.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica in its series UHE Working papers with number 2012_10.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aub:uhewps:2012_10

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Keywords: Italy; regional growth; human development; Gdp; education; life expectancy;

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References

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  1. Leandro Prados de la Escosura, 2013. "World human development : 1870-2007," Working Papers in Economic History wp13-01, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Historia Económica e Instituciones.
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  3. Leandro Prados de la Escosura, 2010. "Improving Human Development: A Long-Run View," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(5), pages 841-894, December.
  4. Vittorio Daniele & Paolo Malanima, 2007. "Il prodotto delle regioni e il divario Nord-Sud in Italia (1861-2004)," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 97(2), pages 267-316, March-Apr.
  5. Allen, Robert C., 2011. "Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199596652, September.
  6. Nicola Amendola & Giovanni Vecchi & Bilal Al Kiswani, 2009. "Il costo della vita al Nord e al Sud d’Italia, dal dopoguerra a oggi. Stime di prima generazione," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 99(2), pages 3-34, April-Jun.
  7. Emanuele Felice & Giovanni Vecchi, 2012. "Italy’s Modern Economic Growth, 1861-2011," Department of Economics University of Siena 663, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  8. Emanuele Felice, 2011. "Regional value added in Italy, 1891–2001, and the foundation of a long‐term picture," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 64(3), pages 929-950, 08.
  9. John Komlos, . "Shrinking in a Growing Economy? The Mystery of Physical Stature during the Industrial Revolution," Articles by John Komlos 7, Department of Economics, University of Munich.
  10. Leandro Prados de la Escosura, 2011. "Human Development in Africa: A Long-Run Perspective," Working Papers 0008, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
  11. Margo, Robert A. & Steckel, Richard H., 1983. "Heights of Native-Born Whites During the Antebellum Period," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(01), pages 167-174, March.
  12. Emanuele Felice, 2007. "I divari regionali in Italia sulla base degli indicatori sociali (1871-2001)," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 97(2), pages 359-406, March-Apr.
  13. Daron Acemoglu, 2008. "Oligarchic Versus Democratic Societies," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(1), pages 1-44, 03.
  14. Alessandro Nuvolari & Michelangelo Vasta, 2012. "The Ghost in the Attic? The Italian National Innovation System in Historical Perspective, 1861-2011," Department of Economics University of Siena 665, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  15. Leandro Conte & Giuseppe Della Torre & Michelangelo Vasta, 2007. "The Human Development Index in Historical Perspective: Italy from Political Unification to the Present Day," Department of Economics University of Siena 491, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  16. Crafts, N. F. R., 1997. "The Human Development Index and changes in standards of living: Some historical comparisons," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(03), pages 299-322, December.
  17. Andrea Brandolini & Giovanni Vecchi, 2011. "The Well-Being of Italians: A Comparative Historical Approach," Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) 19, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  18. Zachary Gidwitz & Martin Philipp Heger & José Pineda & Francisco Rodríguez, 2010. "Understanding Performance in Human Development: A Cross-National Study," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2010-42, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  19. Emanuele Felice, 2012. "Regional convergence in Italy, 1891–2001: testing human and social capital," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 6(3), pages 267-306, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Wail BENAABDELAALI & Zouhair BENNAGHMOUCH & Sanaa CHEDDADI & Abdelhak KAMAL, 2013. "Disparites Regionales De Developpement Humain Au Maroc," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 37, pages 65-93.
  2. Emanuele Felice & Giovanni Vecchi, 2013. "Italy’s Growth and Decline, 1861-2011," CEIS Research Paper 293, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 11 Oct 2013.
  3. Emanuele Felice, 2013. "Regional income inequality in Italy in the long run (1871–2001). Patterns and determinants," UHE Working papers 2013_08, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica.
  4. Felice, Emanuele, 2014. "Il Mezzogiorno fra storia e pubblicistica. Una replica a Daniele e Malanima
    [Southern Italy between history and journalistic books. A reply to Daniele and Malanima]
    ," MPRA Paper 55830, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Gabriele Cappelli, 2013. "Escaping from a human capital trap? Italy’s regions and the move to centralized primary schooling, 1861 - 1936," Department of Economics University of Siena 688, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  6. Emanuele Felice & Josep Pujol Andreu, 2013. "GDP and life expectancy in Italy and Spain over the long-run (1861-2008): insights from a time-series approach," UHE Working papers 2013_06, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica.
  7. Giovanni Federico & Antonio Tena Junguito, 2013. "The ripples of the Industrial revolution: exports, economic growth and regional integration in Italy in the early 19th century," Working Papers in Economic History wp13-02, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Historia Económica e Instituciones.

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