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Regional convergence in Italy, 1891–2001: testing human and social capital

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  • Emanuele Felice

    (Autonomous University of Barcelona, Bellaterra (Cerdanyola del Vallès), Barcelona, Spain)

Abstract

The article aims to present and discuss estimates of levels of human and social capital in Italy’s regions over the long term, i.e., roughly from the second half of the nineteenth century up to the present day. The results are linked to newly available evidence for regional value added in order to begin to form an explanatory hypothesis of long-term regional inequality in Italy: convergence in value added per capita is tested in light of the neoclassical exogenous growth approach, which incorporates human capital and social capital as conditioning variables into a long-term production function. In contrast with conventional wisdom (e.g. Putnam 1993), we find that social capital was not a significant predictor of economic growth in post-Unification Italy: It grew in importance only in the last decades. Conversely, human capital was more important in the first half of the twentieth century. Results suggest that there was not one single conditioning variable over the long run, thus supporting the view that, in different periods, conditioning variables can be determined by technological regimes.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:afc:cliome:v:6:y:2012:i:3:p:267-306
    DOI: 10.1007/s11698-011-0076-1
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. On the many failures of (southern) Italy to catch up
      by missiaia in NEP-HIS blog on 2014-01-20 18:57:07

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Paolo Di Martino & Emanuele Felice & Michelangelo Vasta, 2017. "The curious case of the coexistence of two “access-orders”: Explaining the Italian regional divide," Department of Economics University of Siena 758, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    3. Claude DIEBOLT & Ralph HIPPE, 2017. "Regional human capital inequality in Europe in the long run, 1850-2010," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 45, pages 5-30.
    4. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino & Eiji Yamamura, 2014. "Social norms on rent seeking and preferences for redistribution," Econometica Working Papers wp55, Econometica.
    5. 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.
    6. Emanuele Felice & Michelangelo Vasta, 2015. "Passive modernization? The new human development index and its components in Italy's regions (1871–2007)," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 44-66.
    7. Felice, Emanuele, 2015. "Il divario Nord-Sud in Italia (1861-2011): lo stato dell'arte [Italy’s North-South divide (1861-2011): the state of the art]," MPRA Paper 62209, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. 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.
    9. Pablo Martinelli, 2014. "Editor's choice Von Thünen south of the Alps: access to markets and interwar Italian agriculture," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(2), pages 107-143.
    10. Gabriele Cappelli, 2016. "One size that didn’t fit all? Electoral franchise, fiscal capacity and the rise of mass schooling across Italy’s provinces, 1870–1911," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 10(3), pages 311-343, September.
    11. Gabriele Cappelli, 2016. "Escaping from a human capital trap? Italy's regions and the move to centralized primary schooling, 1861–1936," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 46-65.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. Emanuele Felice & Giovanni Vecchi, 2012. "Italy’s Modern Economic Growth, 1861-2011," Department of Economics University of Siena 663, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    15. Daniele, Vittorio, 2021. "Socioeconomic inequality and regional disparities in educational achievement: The role of relative poverty," Intelligence, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
    16. Emanuele Felice, 2013. "Regional income inequality in Italy in the long run (1871–2001). Patterns and determinants," UHE Working papers 2013_08, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica.
    17. Iacopo Odoardi, 2020. "Can parents’ education lay the foundation for reducing the inactivity of young people? A regional analysis of Italian NEETs," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 37(1), pages 307-336, April.
    18. Alessandro Nuvolari & Michelangelo Vasta, 2017. "The geography of innovation in Italy, 1861–1913: evidence from patent data," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 326-356.
    19. Roberto Antonietti & Ron Boschma, 2018. "Social capital, resilience and regional diversification in Italy," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1804, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Jan 2018.
    20. Emanuele Felice, 2017. "The socio-institutional divide. Explaining Italy's regional inequality over the long run," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 503, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    21. Argentiero, Amedeo & Cerqueti, Roy & Sabatini, Fabio, 2021. "Does social capital explain the Solow residual? A DSGE approach," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 35-53.
    22. Martinelli Lasheras, Pablo, 2012. "Von Thünen South of the Alps : Access to Markets and Interwar Italian Agriculture," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp12-12, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    23. Argentiero, Amedeo & Cerqueti, Roy & Sabatini, Fabio, 2021. "Does social capital explain the Solow residual? A DSGE approach," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 35-53.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Italy; Regions; Convergence; Human capital; Social capital;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • N93 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N94 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General

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