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Technical Change, Non-Tariff Trade Barriers and the Development of the Italian Locomotives Industry, 1850-1913

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  • Carlo Ciccarelli

    ()
    (University of Rome Tor Vergata)

  • Alessandro Nuvolari

    ()
    (Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa)

Abstract

In this paper we examine the dynamics of technical change in the Italian locomotive industry in the period 1850-1913. From an historical point of view, the case of the Italian locomotive industry presents a major point of interest: it was one of the few relatively sophisticated “high-tech” industries in which Italy, a latecomer country, was able to firmly set foot before 1913. Using technical data on the performance of different vintages of locomotives, we construct a new aggregate index of technical change for the industry. Overall the most successful phase for the Italian locomotive industry seems to be period 1895-1913 characterized by a very rapid technical progress and by the effective consolidation of the technological capabilities in this area of two major firms: Breda and Ansaldo. Our re-assessment reveals the critical role of non-tariff trade barriers in the development of this industry.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tor Vergata University, CEIS in its series CEIS Research Paper with number 305.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 07 Feb 2014
Date of revision: 07 Feb 2014
Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:305

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Postal: CEIS - Centre for Economic and International Studies - Faculty of Economics - University of Rome "Tor Vergata" - Via Columbia, 2 00133 Roma
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Related research

Keywords: technical change; non-tariff barriers; locomotives industry; 19th century Italy;

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  1. Dijk van, M. & Szirmai, A., 2005. "Industrial Policy and Technology Diffusion: Evidence from Paper Making Machinery in Indonesia," Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS) working paper series 05.15, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS).
  2. Dosi, Giovanni, 1982. "Technological paradigms and technological trajectories : A suggested interpretation of the determinants and directions of technical change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 147-162, June.
  3. Dincecco, Mark & Federico, Giovanni & Vindigni, Andrea, 2011. "Warfare, Taxation, and Political Change: Evidence from the Italian Risorgimento," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 71(04), pages 887-914, December.
  4. Brian A’hearn, 1998. "Institutions, externalities, and economic growth in southern Italy: evidence from the cotton textile industry, 1861-1914," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 51(4), pages 734-762, November.
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