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