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The geography of innovation in Italy, 1861–1913: evidence from patent data

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  • Alessandro Nuvolari
  • Michelangelo Vasta

Abstract

In this paper we provide a systematic appraisal of the spatial patterns of inventive activity in Italy in the period 1861‒1913 using patent data. First, we introduce a characterization of the spatial distribution of patents and of its evolution over time. Second, we assess the connection between different forms of human capital and patent intensity. We establish a robust correlation between secondary technical education and science and engineering university studies and patent activity. Third, we study the connection between patents and industrialization. Our main finding is that inventive activities were an important element of the industrialization process, even in a latecomer country such as Italy.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Nuvolari & Michelangelo Vasta, 2017. "The geography of innovation in Italy, 1861–1913: evidence from patent data," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 326-356.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ereveh:v:21:y:2017:i:3:p:326-356.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/ereh/hex006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Zamagni, Vera, 1997. "The Economic History of Italy 1860-1990," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292890.
    2. B. Zorina Khan, 2015. "Knowledge, Human Capital and Economic Development: Evidence from the British Industrial Revolution, 1750-1930," NBER Working Papers 20853, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    5. Allen,Robert C., 2009. "The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521868273, June.
    6. Carlo Ciccarelli & Anna Missiaia, 2013. "The Industrial Labor Force of Italy's Provinces: Estimates from the Population Censuses, 1871-1911," Rivista di storia economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 141-192.
    7. Felice, Emanuele, 2014. "Il Mezzogiorno fra storia e pubblicistica. Una replica a Daniele e Malanima
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    8. Alessandro Nuvolari & Michelangelo Vasta, 2015. "Independent invention in Italy during the Liberal Age, 1861–1913," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 68(3), pages 858-886, August.
    9. Carlo Ciccarelli & Stefano Fenoaltea, 2013. "Through the magnifying glass: provincial aspects of industrial growth in post-Unification Italy," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 66(1), pages 57-85, February.
    10. 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.
    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.
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    13. Emanuele Felice, 2012. "Regional convergence in Italy, 1891–2001: testing human and social capital," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 6(3), pages 267-306, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carlo Ciccarelli & Matteo Gomellini & Paolo Sestito, 2019. "Demography and Productivity in the Italian Manufacturing Industry: Yesterday and Today," CEIS Research Paper 457, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 16 May 2019.
    2. repec:spr:cliomt:v:13:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1007_s11698-018-0172-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Paolo Di Martino & Emanuele Felice & Michelangelo Vasta, 2017. "The curious case of the coexistence of two “access-orders”: Explaining the Italian regional divide," Department of Economics University of Siena 758, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    4. repec:afc:cliome:v:13:y:2019:i:1:p:127-161 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Ciccarelli, Carlo & Weisdorf, Jacob, 2018. "Pioneering into the Past: Regional Literacy Developments in Italy Before Italy," CEPR Discussion Papers 12582, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Giacomo Domini, 2019. "Exhibitions, patents, and innovation in the early twentieth century: evidence from the Turin 1911 International Exhibition," LEM Papers Series 2019/04, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.

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    • N00 - Economic History - - General - - - General

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