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From Rags to Riches back to Rags? The Slow Economic Decline of a Successful Nation: Italy 1950–2013

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Author Info

  • Gianluigi Pelloni

    (Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, Italy; Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada; Johns Hopkins Bologna Centre, Italy)

  • Marco Savioli

    (Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, Italy; University of Bologna, Italy)

Abstract

In this paper we present the current crisis of the Italian economy as a phase of a major systemic decline. The social political system has led to a framework that has violated the fundamentals of sustained economic growth. An unhealthy implicit contract between the social-political elites and the civil society has imposed a “static” view of comparative advantage. The indispensable sectoral restructuring of the economy has not taken place, leading to stagnation. Defenceless positions have often been hiding the structural problem behind the screen of Italian exceptionalism. We stress that a growth strategy, though it has to be country and context specific, it cannot violate fundamentals. We suggest that Italy must take on again, as quickly as possible, a “dynamic” view of comparative advantage. That would entail a dramatic shift in its economic-political-social structure and it would be necessarily painful at different levels. However, this is the only route Italy could follow to stay on course for sustained economic growth.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis in its series Professional Reports with number 01_14.

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Date of creation: Jan 2014
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Handle: RePEc:rim:rimpre:01_14

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Keywords: sustained growth; comparative advantage; technological progress; corruption; Italy;

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  1. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Why Is Fiscal Policy Often Procyclical?," Working Papers 297, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  2. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2003. "Economic Growth, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262025531, December.
  3. Djankov, Simeon & La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2001. "The Regulation of Entry," Working Paper Series rwp01-015, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  4. Fonseca, Raquel & Lopez-Garcia, Paloma & Pissarides, Christopher A., 2001. "Entrepreneurship, start-up costs and employment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 692-705, May.
  5. Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Credit Market Imperfections and Persistent Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 7938, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Kamal Saggi, 2002. "Trade, Foreign Direct Investment, and International Technology Transfer: A Survey," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 191-235, September.
  7. Gianluigi Pelloni, 2009. "Why Are they Doing so Well while We Are Doing so Badly? A Comparison between the Canadian and Italian University Systems," Professional Reports 04_09, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  8. F. Daveri & C. Jona-Lasinio, 2006. "Italy’s decline: getting the facts right," Economics Department Working Papers 2006-EP01, Department of Economics, Parma University (Italy).
  9. Del Monte, Alfredo & Papagni, Erasmo, 2007. "The determinants of corruption in Italy: Regional panel data analysis," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 379-396, June.
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