IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/exehis/v57y2015icp19-37.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The measurement of production movements: Lessons from the general engineering industry in Italy, 1861–1913

Author

Listed:
  • Fenoaltea, Stefano

Abstract

In the literature the (Italian) engineering industry is seen as one that transformed metal into machines; its time path is inferred from that of its consumption of metal. Newly recovered evidence indicates that far more metal was turned into (traditional) hardware than into (modern) machines. Machine production grew rapidly from a very small base: metal consumption fails to capture this change in the product mix, and understates the growth of new production at constant prices. Moreover, maintenance activity was in general as significant as new production. Maintenance was labor-intensive rather than metal-intensive, trend-dominated rather than cyclical, and relatively larger, next to new production, in 1861 than in 1913: metal consumption overstates the growth rate of the industry’s total product at constant prices, and much overstates its cyclical volatility. Technical progress was negligible in maintenance, but rapid in new production: constant-price-weighted physical measures fail to capture productivity growth, and even late-weighted series overstate the growth of the industry’s real product. These results are not tied to conditions peculiar to pre-War Italy: the new estimates presented here pave the way for emending, or at least reevaluating, the engineering-industry product series reconstructed for other times or places.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:57:y:2015:i:c:p:19-37
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eeh.2015.03.004
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014498315000248
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.eeh.2015.03.004?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 search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Stefano Fenoaltea, 2019. "Of economics and statistics: the Gerschenkron effect," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 72(290), pages 195-205.
    2. Stefano Fenoaltea, 2011. "On the Structure of the Italian Economy, 1861-1913," Rivista di storia economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 61-72.
    3. Stefano Fenoaltea, 2016. "The Measurement of Production: Lessons from the Engineering Industry in Italy, 1911," Research in Economic History, in: Christopher Hanes & Susan Wolcott (ed.), Research in Economic History, volume 32, pages 73-145, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    4. Toniolo, Gianni (ed.), 2013. "The Oxford Handbook of the Italian Economy Since Unification," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199936694, November.
    5. Stefano Fenoaltea, 2014. "The fruits of disaggregation: the general engineering industry in Italy, 1861-1913," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 358, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    6. Carlo Ciccarelli & Stefano Fenoaltea, 2009. "Shipbuilding in Italy, 1861-1913: the burden of the evidence," Historical Social Research (Section 'Cliometrics'), Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 34(2), pages 333-373.
    7. 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.
    8. Fenoaltea,Stefano, 2014. "The Reinterpretation of Italian Economic History," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107658080.
    9. Stefano Fenoaltea, 2010. "The reconstruction of historical national accounts: the case of Italy," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 63(252), pages 77-96.
    10. Gerschenkron, Alexander, 1955. "Notes on the Rate of Industrial Growth in Italy, 1881–1913," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(4), pages 360-375, December.
    11. Solomon Fabricant, 1940. "The Output of Manufacturing Industries, 1899-1937," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number fabr40-1.
    12. Fenoaltea, Stefano, 1971. "Railroads and Italian industrial growth, 1861-1913," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 325-351.
    13. Sims, Christopher A, 1969. "Theoretical Basis for a Double Deflated Index of Real Value Added," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(4), pages 470-471, November.
    14. Fenoaltea, Stefano, 2003. "Notes on the Rate of Industrial Growth in Italy, 1861–1913," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(3), pages 695-735, September.
    15. Stefano Fenoaltea, 2015. "Industrial Employment in Italy, 1911: The Burden of the Census Data," Rivista di storia economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 225-246.
    16. Fenoaltea, Stefano, 2003. "Peeking Backward: Regional Aspects of Industrial Growth in Post-Unification Italy," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(4), pages 1059-1102, December.
    17. Stefano Fenoaltea, 2014. "The measurement of production movements: lessons from the engineering industry in Italy, 1861-1913," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 400, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    18. Stefano Fenoaltea, 2001. "The Growth of Italy's Cotton Industry, 1861-1913: a Statistical Reconstruction," Rivista di storia economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 139-172.
    19. Fenoaltea, Stefano, 1969. "Public Policy and Italian Industrial Development, 1861–1913," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 29(1), pages 176-179, March.
    20. Stefano Fenoaltea, 1976. "Real Value Added and the Measurement of Industrial Production," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 1, pages 111-137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Stefano Fenoaltea, 2020. "The fruits of disaggregation: The engineering industry, tariff protection, and the industrial investment cycle in Italy, 1861-1913," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 73(292), pages 77-110.
    2. Fenoaltea, Stefano, 2018. "The Growth of the Italian Economy, 1861-1913: Revised Second-Generation Expenditure-Side Estimates," MPRA Paper 88016, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Fenoaltea, Stefano, 2017. "The Growth of the Italian Economy, 1861-1913: Revised Second-Generation Production-Side Estimates," MPRA Paper 83508, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Stefano Fenoaltea, 2015. "Italian Industrial Production, 1861-1913: A Statistical Reconstruction. A. Introduction," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 412, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    5. Fenoaltea, Stefano, 2018. "The Growth of the Italian Economy, 1861−1913: The Composition Of Investment," MPRA Paper 88138, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    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. Stefano Fenoaltea, 2014. "The measurement of production movements: lessons from the engineering industry in Italy, 1861-1913," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 400, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    2. Stefano Fenoaltea, 2015. "Italian Industrial Production, 1861-1913: A Statistical Reconstruction. A. Introduction," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 412, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    3. Stefano Fenoaltea, 2020. "The fruits of disaggregation: The engineering industry, tariff protection, and the industrial investment cycle in Italy, 1861-1913," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 73(292), pages 77-110.
    4. Fenoaltea, Stefano, 2017. "The Growth of the Italian Economy, 1861-1913: Revised Second-Generation Production-Side Estimates," MPRA Paper 83508, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Fenoaltea, Stefano, 2018. "The Growth of the Italian Economy, 1861-1913: Revised Second-Generation Expenditure-Side Estimates," MPRA Paper 88016, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Emanuele Felice, 2019. "Rethinking the take-off: the role of services in the new economic history of Italy (1861–1951)," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 13(3), pages 405-442, September.
    9. Fenoaltea, Stefano, 2020. "Reconstructing The Past: The Measurement Of Aggregate Product," MPRA Paper 97042, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Emanuele Felice, 2017. "The socio-institutional divide. Explaining Italy's regional inequality over the long run," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 503, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    11. Carlo Ciccarelli & Tommaso Proietti, 2013. "Patterns of industrial specialisation in post-Unification Italy," Scandinavian Economic History Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 61(3), pages 259-286, November.
    12. Stefano Fenoaltea, 2018. "Spleen: the failures of the cliometric school," HHB Working Papers Series 14, The Historical Household Budgets Project.
    13. 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.
    14. Fenoaltea, Stefano, 2020. "Reconstructing The Past: Italy's Historical National Accounts, 1861-1913," MPRA Paper 98350, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. Ulaş Karakoç, 2018. "Industrial growth in interwar Egypt: first estimates, new insights," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 53-72.
    18. Fenoaltea, Stefano, 2020. "Reconstructing the Past: The New Expenditure-Side and Composition-Of-Investment Estimates for Italy, 1861–1913," MPRA Paper 99432, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Giulia Mancini, 2018. "Women's Labor Force Participation in Italy, 1861-2011," Rivista di storia economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 3-68.
    20. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Measurement; Engineering;

    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:eee:exehis:v:57:y:2015:i:c:p:19-37. 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: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830 .

    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: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830 .

    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.