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Was industrialization an escape from the commodity lottery? Evidence from Italy, 1861-1940

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  • Giovanni Federico

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  • Michelangelo Vasta

    ()

Abstract

the specialization in exporting primary products is frequently deemed harmful for long-run development, because it increases volatility of terms of trade and thus the number and frequency of macroeconomic shocks. One would expect modern economic growth to solve the problem by changing the composition of trade. This paper tests this hypothesis with a new series of Italian terms of trade from 1861 to 1939, a period which spans the first stage of the industrialization of the country. The results do not tally with the hypothesis. The change in composition improved marginally the terms of trade, but it did not help much in terms of volatility

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Siena in its series Department of Economics University of Siena with number 573.

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Date of creation: Sep 2009
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Handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:573

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Keywords: Italian trade; Terms of trade; Economic growth; Volatility;

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  1. Paul Cashin & Catherine Pattillo, 2006. "African terms of trade and the commodity terms of trade: close cousins or distant relatives?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(8), pages 845-859.
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  8. Frederick van der Ploeg & Steven Poelhekke, 2008. "Volatility, Financial Development and the Natural Resource Curse," OxCarre Working Papers 003, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  9. Fenoaltea, Stefano, 2005. "The growth of the Italian economy, 1861 1913: Preliminary second-generation estimates," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(03), pages 273-312, December.
  10. Christa N. Brunnschweiler & Erwin H. Bulte, 2006. "The Resource Curse Revisited and Revised: A Tale of Paradoxes and Red Herrings," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 06/61, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  11. Federico, Giovanni & Tena, Antonio, 1991. "On the accuracy of foreign trade statistics (1909-1935): Morgenstern revisited," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 259-273, July.
  12. Diakosavvas, Dimitris & Scandizzo, Pasquale Lucio, 1991. "Trends in the Terms of Trade of Primary Commodities, 1900-1982: The Controversy and Its Origins," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(2), pages 231-64, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Michelangelo Vasta, 2009. "Italian export capacity in the long run perspective (1861-2009): a tortuous path to keep the position," Department of Economics University of Siena 572, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  2. Emanuele Felice & Albert Carreras, 2012. "The roots of success: industrial growth in Italy reconsidered, 1911-1951," UHE Working papers 2012_04, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica.

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