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Persistent regional gaps and the role of social capital: hints from the Italian Mezzogiorno’s case

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  • F. Pigliaru

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Abstract

In this article I maintain that until the mid Seventies the regions of the Italian Mezzogiorno have followed a well-known path of divergence and convergence – a pattern in common with many other similar cases. The main characteristic of the Mezzogiorno’s case, however, is that the convergence phase has led the area to a remarkably unfavourable steady-state. Further, I suggest that the disappointing results obtained in the area by several and richly financed public policies – and the high persistence of the unfavourable steady-state – are partly due to the lowerquality institutions in the southern regions. In the second part of the article I discuss recent contributions that associate this failure of local institutions to the scarcity of social capital, and that explain the persistence of this scarcity assuming the existence of mechanisms of intergenerational transmission of values and norms that change very slowly in time. Finally, in the final part I discuss briefly the role of economic policy in the presence of mechanisms of this nature.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia in its series Working Paper CRENoS with number 200904.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cns:cnscwp:200904

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Keywords: convergence; institutions and economic growth; social capital;

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Cited by:
  1. Nadia Fiorino & Emma Galli & Ilaria Petrarca, 2012. "Corruption and Growth: Evidence from the Italian Regions," European Journal of Government and Economics, Europa Grande, Europa Grande, vol. 1(2), pages 126-144, December.
  2. Piergiacomo Sibiano & Tommaso Agasisti, 2011. "Efficiency of public spending in education: A challenge among Italian regions," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 6, Asociación de Economía de la Educación, in: Antonio Caparrós Ruiz (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 6, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 31, pages 503-516 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.

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