The link between devolution and regional disparities: evidence from the Italian regions
This paper investigates the relationship between devolution and regional disparities by looking at the case of Italy. By integrating the relevant quantitative and qualitative evidence, it attempts to answer two questions. Did the devolutionary process exert a positive influence on regional convergence in Italy? And, if so, why have its beneficial economic effects been concentrated in the Mezzogiorno? A clear historical link between the upsurge of devolution and the reduction of spatial inequalities is identified. However, this relationship plays out in a rather indirect way, and is strongly influenced by a series of exogenous factors which are thoroughly analysed.