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Railways and manufacturing productivity in Italy after unification

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  • Nicola Pontarollo
  • Roberto Ricciuti

Abstract

This paper contributes to the debate on the effects of transport infrastructure endowment on productivity by adding a historical perspective. This allows us to address the issue in a proving ground where the effects of the existing stock of infrastructure are negligible. At the time of unification, the Kingdom of Italy initiated a large infrastructure project to build railways. We find that railways had a positive effect on manufacturing productivity over the period 1871–1911. Railways also had strong spillover effects in neighboring provinces so that provinces that started with a higher endowment of railways benefited more than those who were newly endowed.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jregsc:v:60:y:2020:i:4:p:775-800
    DOI: 10.1111/jors.12484
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