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Internal Geography and External Trade: regional disparities in Italy, 1861-2011

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  • Brian A'Hearn

    ()
    (Pembroke College, Oxford)

  • Anthony J. Venables

    ()
    (University of Oxford & CEPR)

Abstract

This paper explores the interactions between external trade and regional disparities in the Italian economy since unification. It argues that the advantage of the North was initially based on natural advantage (in particular the endowment of water, intensive in silk production). From 1880 onwards the share of exports in GDP stagnated and then declined; domestic market access therefore became a key determinant of industrial location, inducing fast growing new sectors (especially engineering) to locate in regions with a large domestic market, i.e. in the North. From 1945 onwards trade growth and European integration meant that foreign market access was the decisive factor; the North had the advantage of proximity to these markets.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) with number 12.

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Date of creation: Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:workqs:qse_12

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Keywords: industrialisation; market integration; new economic geography; geographic concentration; Italian regions;

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  1. Carlo Ciccarelli & Stefano Fenoaltea, 2010. "Through the Magnifying Glass: Provincial Aspects of Industrial Growth in Post-Unification Italy," Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) 4, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
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  16. Elisenda Paluzie & Jordi Pons & Javier Silvestre & Daniel Tirado, 2009. "Migrants and market potential in Spain over the twentieth century: a test of the new economic geography," Spanish Economic Review, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 243-265, December.
  17. Rui Esteves & David Khoudour-Castéras, 2009. "Remittances, Capital Flows and Financial Development during the Mass Migration Period, 1870-1913," Working Papers 2009-12, CEPII research center.
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  19. Giovanni Federico & Nikolaus Wolf, 2011. "Comparative Advantages in Italy: A Long-Run Perspective," Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) 09, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  20. Fenoaltea, Stefano, 2003. "Peeking Backward: Regional Aspects of Industrial Growth in Post-Unification Italy," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(04), pages 1059-1102, December.
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  22. Giovanni Federico & Antonio Tena Junguito, 1998. "Did trade policy foster Italian industrialization evidences from the effective production rates 1870-1930," Working Papers in Economic History wh985504, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Historia Económica e Instituciones.
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