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The Sources of Local Growth: Evidence from Italy


  • Mario Forni

    () (University of Modena)

  • Sergio Paba

    () (University of Modena)


The aim of this paper it to identify the main determinants of growth for local areas belonging to the same country. We examine the impact of a number of social, struc¬tural, and political variables on the economic performance of the Italian provinces during the period 1971-1991. Many of these variables appear for the first time in the Barro-regression literature. We analyze growth not only in terms of income, but also in terms of employment and population. First, we find that local growth is strongly affected by the diffusion of specialized industrial districts made up of small and medium-sized firms. Second, we find weak evidence of the importance of social capi¬tal for growth, whereas variables indicating political sub-cultures and social cohesion are strongly related with economic performance. Lastly, we show that crime and labor conflicts have a clear negative impact on employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Mario Forni & Sergio Paba, 2000. "The Sources of Local Growth: Evidence from Italy," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 59(1), pages 1-49, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:gde:journl:gde_v59_n1_p1-49

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    Cited by:

    1. Giovanni Peri & Dieter Urban, 2002. "The Veblen-Gerschenkron Effect of FDI in Mezzogiorno and East Germany," Development Working Papers 164, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
    2. Giovanni Peri & Alejandro Cunat, 2001. "Job Creation in Italy: Geography, Determinants and Perspectives," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 60(1), pages 43-74, June.
    3. Silvia Saddi & Raffaele Paci, 2002. "Capitale pubblico e produttività nelle regioni italiane," SCIENZE REGIONALI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2002(3).
    4. Rosetta Lombardo & Marianna Falcone, 2011. "Crime And Economic Performance. A Cluster Analysis Of Panel Data On Italy'S Nuts 3 Regions," Working Papers 201112, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.
    5. Forni, Mario & Paba, Sergio, 2001. "Knowledge Spillovers and the Growth of Local Industries," CEPR Discussion Papers 2934, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Oliviero A. Carboni & Claudio Detotto, 2016. "The economic consequences of crime in Italy," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 43(1), pages 122-140, January.
    7. Fiorillo, Damiano, 2005. "Le determinanti del capitale sociale in Italia, 1993-2000: una analisi esplorativa," MPRA Paper 796, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Fiaschi Davide & Gianmoena Lisa & Parenti Angela, 2011. "The Dynamics of Labour Productivity Across Italian Provinces: Convergence and Polarization," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 209-240.
    9. Cerro, Ana María & Rodríguez Andrés, Antonio, 2010. "The Effect of Crime on the Job Market: An ARDL approach to Argentina," MPRA Paper 44457, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. R. Paci & S. Usai, 2001. "Externalities and local economic growth in manufacturing industries," Working Paper CRENoS 200113, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    11. Stefano Magrini, 2007. "Analysing Convergence through the Distribution Dynamics Approach: Why and how?," Working Papers 2007_13, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    12. De Siano, Rita & D'Uva, Marcella, 2007. "A new approach for β-convergence estimation in Italy," MPRA Paper 5643, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Claudio Detotto & Edoardo Otranto, 2010. "Does Crime Affect Economic Growth?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(3), pages 330-345, August.
    14. A. Lasagni, 2009. "Agglomeration economies: new evidence on IT employment growth in Italy," Economics Department Working Papers 2009-EP08, Department of Economics, Parma University (Italy).

    More about this item


    local growth; industrial districts; social capital; political sub-cultures;

    JEL classification:

    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)


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