IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/afc/cliome/v15y2021i1p89-131.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Crowding out the change: business networks and persisting economic elites in the South of Italy over Unification (1840–1880)

Author

Listed:
  • Maria Carmela Schisani

    (Department of Economics and Statistics, Federico II University of Naples, Via Cintia, 26, Naples, Italy)

  • Luigi Balletta

    (Department of Economics, Management and Institutions, Federico II University of Naples, Via Cintia, 26, Naples, Italy)

  • Giancarlo Ragozini

    (Department of Political Sciences, Federico II University of Naples, Via Rodinò, 22, Naples, Italy)

Abstract

In this article, we study the effect of the Unification on the network power of economic elites in the South of Italy. We study the persistence of economic elites as evidence of the stability of the institutional set up beyond the effect of Unification, and thus as a primary explaining factor of the persistence of social forces slowing and opposing modernization. We use original archival data on the universe of Naples enterprises to build the networks of business relations between individual economic actors for the 20-year period immediately before and after Unification. The persistence of network power and its determinants is tested via a difference-in-difference model. The main finding is that economic elites persist over Unification. The long-term business relations, rooted in the Bourbon period, the persisting lobbying power of the financial industry, the close collusive ties with potential foreign competitors and the closeness to politics after 1861 are all elements that explain how the Southern economic elites were able to crowd-out the change.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria Carmela Schisani & Luigi Balletta & Giancarlo Ragozini, 2021. "Crowding out the change: business networks and persisting economic elites in the South of Italy over Unification (1840–1880)," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 15(1), pages 89-131, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:afc:cliome:v:15:y:2021:i:1:p:89-131
    DOI: 10.1007/s11698-020-00204-3
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11698-020-00204-3
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to journal subscribers

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1007/s11698-020-00204-3?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Emanuele Felice, 2012. "Regional convergence in Italy, 1891–2001: testing human and social capital," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 6(3), pages 267-306, October.
    2. Pierangelo Toninelli & Claudio Pavese, 2014. "Joint-stock companies dynamics, legal institutions and regional economic disparities in Italy (1858-1914)," Working Papers 282, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2014.
    3. Roberto Basile & Carlo Ciccarelli, 2018. "The location of the Italian manufacturing industry, 1871–1911: a sectoral analysis," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(3), pages 627-661.
    4. Toniolo, Gianni (ed.), 2013. "The Oxford Handbook of the Italian Economy Since Unification," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199936694.
    5. Susanna Fellman, 2014. "Prosopographic studies of business leaders for understanding industrial and corporate change," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 56(1), pages 5-21, January.
    6. Rajan, Raghuram G. & Zingales, Luigi, 2003. "The great reversals: the politics of financial development in the twentieth century," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 5-50, July.
    7. Giovanni Federico & Antonio Tena-Junguito, 2014. "The ripples of the industrial revolution: exports, economic growth, and regional integration in Italy in the early nineteenth century," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(3), pages 349-369.
    8. Anna Missiaia, 2016. "Where do we go from here? Market access and regional development in Italy (1871–1911)," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 215-241.
    9. Carlo Ciccarelli & Stefano Fachin, 2017. "Regional growth with spatial dependence: A case study on early Italian industrialization," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(4), pages 675-695, November.
    10. Federico, Giovanni & Nuvolari, Alessandro & Vasta, Michelangelo, 2019. "The Origins of the Italian Regional Divide: Evidence from Real Wages, 1861–1913," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 63-98, March.
    11. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2008. "Persistence of Power, Elites, and Institutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 267-293, March.
    12. Carlo Ciccarelli & Stefano Fenoaltea, 2013. "Through the magnifying glass: provincial aspects of industrial growth in post-Unification Italy," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 66(1), pages 57-85, February.
    13. Scott, John, 1997. "Corporate Business and Capitalist Classes," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198280767.
    14. Hu, Hai-Bo & Wang, Xiao-Fan, 2008. "Unified index to quantifying heterogeneity of complex networks," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 387(14), pages 3769-3780.
    15. Maria Carmela Schisani & Francesca Caiazzo, 2016. "Networks of power and networks of capital: evidence from a peripheral area of the first globalisation. The energy sector in Naples: from gas to electricity (1862-1919)," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 58(2), pages 207-243, March.
    16. Carlo Ciccarelli & Jacob Weisdorf, 2019. "Pioneering into the past: Regional literacy developments in Italy before Italy," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(3), pages 329-364.
    17. Anna Missiaia, 2019. "Market versus endowment: explaining early industrial location in Italy (1871–1911)," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 13(1), pages 127-161, January.
    18. Vecchi, Giovanni, 2017. "Measuring Wellbeing: A History of Italian Living Standards," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199944590.
    19. van den Brink, J.R. & Borm, P.E.M. & Hendrickx, R.L.P. & Owen, G., 2008. "Characterizations of the beta- and the degree network power measure," Other publications TiSEM 101ef139-cc05-4b30-bef5-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    20. René Brink & Peter Borm & Ruud Hendrickx & Guillermo Owen, 2008. "Characterizations of the β- and the Degree Network Power Measure," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 64(4), pages 519-536, June.
    21. Cassis,Youssef, 2010. "Capitals of Capital," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521144049, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Maria Carmela Schisani & Luigi Balletta & Giancarlo Ragozini, 2021. "Crowding out the change: business networks and persisting economic elites in the South of Italy over Unification (1840–1880)," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 15(1), pages 89-131, January.
    2. Nicola Pontarollo & Roberto Ricciuti, 2020. "Railways and manufacturing productivity in Italy after unification," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 775-800, September.
    3. Gabriele Cappelli & Michelangelo Vasta, 2021. "A “Silent Revolution”: school reforms and Italy’s educational gender gap in the Liberal Age (1861–1921)," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 15(1), pages 203-229, January.
    4. Monica Bozzano & Gabriele Cappelli, 2019. "The legacy of history or the outcome of reforms? Primary education and literacy in Liberal Italy (1871-1911)," Department of Economics University of Siena 801, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    5. Carlo Ciccarelli & Matteo Gomellini & Paolo Sestito, 2019. "Demography and Productivity in the Italian Manufacturing Industry: Yesterday and Today," CEIS Research Paper 457, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 16 May 2019.
    6. Emanuele Felice, 2015. "La stima e l?interpretazione dei divari regionali nel lungo periodo: i risultati principali e alcune tracce di ricerca," SCIENZE REGIONALI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2015(3), pages 91-120.
    7. Carlo Ciccarelli & Alberto Dalmazzo & Daniela Vuri, 2021. "Home Sweet Home: the Effect of Sugar Protectionism on Emigration in Italy, 1876‐1913," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(4), pages 925-957, August.
    8. Anna Missiaia, 2019. "Market versus endowment: explaining early industrial location in Italy (1871–1911)," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 13(1), pages 127-161, January.
    9. Emanuele Felice, 2017. "The socio-institutional divide. Explaining Italy's regional inequality over the long run," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 503, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    10. Giovanni Federico & Alessandro Nuvolari & Leonardo Ridolfi & Michelangelo Vasta, 2021. "The race between the snail and the tortoise: skill premium and early industrialization in Italy (1861–1913)," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 15(1), pages 1-42, January.
    11. Felice, Emanuele, 2014. "Il Mezzogiorno fra storia e pubblicistica. Una replica a Daniele e Malanima [Southern Italy between history and journalistic books. A reply to Daniele and Malanima]," MPRA Paper 55830, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. de Oliveira, Guilherme & Guerriero, Carmine, 2018. "Extractive states: The case of the Italian unification," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 142-159.
    13. David Chilosi & Carlo Ciccarelli, 2021. "Southern and Northern Italy in the Great Divergence: New Perspectives from the Occupational Structure," Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) 47, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    14. Carlo Ciccarelli & Stefano Fachin, 2017. "Regional growth with spatial dependence: A case study on early Italian industrialization," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(4), pages 675-695, November.
    15. Carlo Ciccarelli & Jacob Weisdorf, 2019. "Pioneering into the past: Regional literacy developments in Italy before Italy," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(3), pages 329-364.
    16. Giulio Cainelli & Carlo Ciccarelli & Roberto Ganau, 2021. "Administrative reforms, urban hierarchy, and local population growth. Lessons from Italian unification," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 2109, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Feb 2021.
    17. Chiaruttini, Maria Stella, 2020. "Banking integration and (under)development: A quantitative reassessment of the Italian financial divide (1814-74)," IBF Paper Series 03-20, IBF – Institut für Bank- und Finanzgeschichte / Institute for Banking and Financial History, Frankfurt am Main.
    18. Gabriele Cappelli & Emanuele Felice & Julio Martínez-Galarraga & Daniel Tirado, 2018. "Still a long way to go: decomposing income inequality across Italy’s regions, 1871 – 2011," Working Papers 0123, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    19. Giacomo Domini, 2019. "Exhibitions, patents, and innovation in the early twentieth century: evidence from the Turin 1911 International Exhibition," LEM Papers Series 2019/04, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    20. Slesman, Ly & Baharumshah, Ahmad Zubaidi & Azman-Saini, W.N.W., 2019. "Political institutions and finance-growth nexus in emerging markets and developing countries: A tale of one threshold," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 80-100.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic elites; Social network analysis; Italian Unification; Economic history of the South of Italy in the nineteenth century;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N23 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N83 - Economic History - - Micro-Business History - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N93 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:afc:cliome:v:15:y:2021:i:1:p:89-131. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/afcccea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/afcccea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.