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Passive modernization? The new human development index and its components in Italy's regions (1871–2007)

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  • Emanuele Felice
  • Michelangelo Vasta

Abstract

The article presents and discusses estimates of social and economic indicators for Italy and its regions in benchmark years roughly from Unification to the present day: life expectancy, education, gross domestic product (GDP) per capita at purchasing power parity, and the new Human Development Index (HDI). A broad interpretative hypothesis, based on the distinction between "active" and "passive" modernization, is proposed to account for the evolution of regional imbalances. In the lack of active modernization, Southern Italy converged thanks to passive modernization. However, this was more effective in life expectancy, less successful in education, expensive, and as a whole ineffective in GDP. As a consequence, convergence in the HDI occurred from the late nineteenth century to the 1970s, but came to a sudden halt in the last decades of the twentieth century.

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  • Emanuele Felice & Michelangelo Vasta, 2015. "Passive modernization? The new human development index and its components in Italy's regions (1871–2007)," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 44-66.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ereveh:v:19:y:2015:i:1:p:44-66.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/ereh/heu018
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    Cited by:

    1. Wail BENAABDELAALI & Zouhair BENNAGHMOUCH & Sanaa CHEDDADI & Abdelhak KAMAL, 2013. "Disparites Regionales De Developpement Humain Au Maroc," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 37, pages 65-93.
    2. 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.
    3. Gabriele Cappelli & Emanuele Felice & Julio Martínez-Galarraga & Daniel Tirado, 2018. "Still a long way to go: decomposing income inequality across Italy’s regions, 1871 – 2011," Working Papers 0123, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    4. Giannola, Adriano & Petraglia, Carmelo & Scalera, Domenico, 2016. "Net fiscal flows and interregional redistribution in Italy: A long-run perspective (1951–2010)," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 1-16.
    5. Emanuele Felice, 2016. "The Misty Grail: The Search for a Comprehensive Measure of Development and the Reasons for GDP Primacy," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 47(5), pages 967-994, September.
    6. Erasmo Papagni & Amedeo Lepore & Emanuele Felice & Anna Laura Baraldi & Maria Rosaria Alfano, 2018. "Public Investment and Growth Accelerations: The Case of Southern Italy, 1951-1995," EERI Research Paper Series EERI RP 2018/10, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
    7. Felice, Emanuele, 2014. "Il Mezzogiorno fra storia e pubblicistica. Una replica a Daniele e Malanima
      [Southern Italy between history and journalistic books. A reply to Daniele and Malanima]
      ," MPRA Paper 55830, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Brian A'Hearn & Alexia Delfino & Alessandro Nuvolari, 2016. "Rethinking Age-heaping, a Cautionary Tale From Nineteenth Century Italy," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _148, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    9. Gabriele Cappelli, 2016. "One size that didn’t fit all? Electoral franchise, fiscal capacity and the rise of mass schooling across Italy’s provinces, 1870–1911," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 10(3), pages 311-343, September.
    10. 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.
    11. Tena Junguito, Antonio & Federico, Giovanni, 2013. "The ripples of the Industrial revolution: exports, economic growth and regional integration in Italy in the early 19th century," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp13-02, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    12. Emanuele Felice & Giovanni Vecchi, 2013. "Italy’s Growth and Decline, 1861-2011," CEIS Research Paper 293, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 11 Oct 2013.
    13. Gabriele Cappelli, 2016. "Escaping from a human capital trap? Italy's regions and the move to centralized primary schooling, 1861–1936," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 46-65.
    14. Giménez, Víctor & Ayvar-Campos, Francisco Javier & Navarro-Chávez, José César Lenin, 2017. "Efficiency in the generation of social welfare in Mexico: A proposal in the presence of bad outputs," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 43-52.
    15. Guerriero, Carmine & de Oliveira, Guilherme, 2014. "Extractive States: The Case of the Italian Unification," MPRA Paper 70916, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 13 Apr 2016.
    16. repec:spr:soinre:v:134:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1450-y is not listed on IDEAS
    17. 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.
    18. 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.

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    JEL classification:

    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N34 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N90 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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