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When did modernization begin? Italy's industrial growth reconsidered in light of new value-added series, 1911–1951

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  • Felice, Emanuele
  • Carreras, Albert

Abstract

The article reconsiders the growth of Italian industry from the First World War to the eve of the economic miracle, with the aid of sector-specific new value-added series, at three different price-bases. The new estimates reduce growth during the First World War, making the Italian case comparable to the other belligerent countries, while improving the performance of the 1920s. The 1929 crisis looks more profound than before, but the recovery after 1933 is now stronger. During the 1920s and the 1930s, a significant shift from traditional to more advanced activities took place, and the cycles of consumption related industries grew in importance: after linking the available estimates with those produced by Fenoaltea for liberal Italy, both descriptive statistics and cointegration analysis suggest that some of these movements began with the turn of the previous century, a finding in line with institutional interpretations of Italy's economic growth. When confronted with the rest of Europe, in industrial production Italy's first half of the twentieth century was a relative success, which laid the ground for the following economic boom.

Suggested Citation

  • Felice, Emanuele & Carreras, Albert, 2012. "When did modernization begin? Italy's industrial growth reconsidered in light of new value-added series, 1911–1951," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 443-460.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:49:y:2012:i:4:p:443-460
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eeh.2012.07.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Emanuele Felice & Giovanni Vecchi, 2013. "Italy’s Growth and Decline, 1861-2011," CEIS Research Paper 293, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 11 Oct 2013.
    2. Stefano Fenoaltea, 2014. "The measurement of production movements: lessons from the engineering industry in Italy, 1861-1913," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 400, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    3. Emanuele Felice & Josep Pujol Andreu, 2013. "GDP and life expectancy in Italy and Spain over the long-run (1861-2008): insights from a time-series approach," UHE Working papers 2013_06, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica.
    4. Stefano Fenoaltea, 2015. "Italian Industrial Production, 1861-1913: A Statistical Reconstruction. A. Introduction," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 412, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    5. Fenoaltea, Stefano, 2015. "The measurement of production movements: Lessons from the general engineering industry in Italy, 1861–1913," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 19-37.
    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. Jacopo Timini, 2018. "The drivers of Italian exports and product market entry: 1862-1913 (Updated August 2020)," Working Papers 1836, Banco de España, revised Aug 2020.
    8. Baffigi, Alberto & Bontempi, Maria Elena & Felice, Emanuele & Golinelli, Roberto, 2015. "The changing relationship between inflation and the economic cycle in Italy: 1861–2012," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 53-70.
    9. Emanuele Felice, 2017. "The Roots of a Dual Equilibrium: GDP, Productivity and Structural Change in the Italian Regions in the Long-run (1871-2011)," Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) 40, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    10. Emanuele Felice, 2020. "LÕalbatros. Ricordo di Stefano Fenoaltea (The albatros. In memory of Stefano Fenoaltea)," Moneta e Credito, Economia civile, vol. 73(292), pages 397-407.
    11. Emanuele Felice & Josep Pujol Andreu & Carlo D'Ippoliti, 2016. "GDP and life expectancy in Italy and Spain over the long run: A time-series approach," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 35(28), pages 813-866.
    12. Riccardo De Bonis & Andrea Silvestrini, 2014. "The Italian financial cycle: 1861-2011," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 8(3), pages 301-334, September.
    13. Emanuele Felice, 2017. "The socio-institutional divide. Explaining Italy's regional inequality over the long run," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 503, Collegio Carlo Alberto.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Italy; Industry; National accounts; World war I; 1929 crisis; World war II;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N14 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N64 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • N44 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe

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