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The Italian Productivity Decline: Evidence from Regional Data


  • Maurizio Conti

    () (Universtiy of Genova)


In this paper the evolution of labour productivity and TFP is anlysed for the Italian regions at the sector level over the period 1980-2004 using growth accounting techniques. The results sugges that the decline in productivity after 1995 has been widespread across sectors and regions, although in southern Italy the decline has been weaker; in turn, TFP growth seems to have been the major responsible for both the decline of labour productivity growth and for explaining regional labour productivity growth differentials. The estimation of a TFP growth model inspired to be the Neo-Shumpeterian Growth Theory suggests that a key role in driving the different pattern in TFP growth between northern and southern regions may have been played by catching up processes, as regions that were far away from the technological frontier, mainly located in the south, have displayed faster TFP growth. The econometric results also suggest that spillover effects, R&D and, to a lesser extent, human capital may have been important drivers of the rate of innovation over the sample period.

Suggested Citation

  • Maurizio Conti, 2009. "The Italian Productivity Decline: Evidence from Regional Data," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 68(3), pages 269-309, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:gde:journl:gde_v68_n3_p269-309

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    Cited by:

    1. Simone Gitto & Paolo Mancuso, 2015. "The contribution of physical and human capital accumulation to Italian regional growth: a nonparametric perspective," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 1-12, February.

    More about this item


    Productivity growth; convergence; innovation; R&D; Regional Growth; Total Factor Productivity;

    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
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • 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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