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The fruits of disaggregation: The engineering industry, tariff protection, and the industrial investment cycle in Italy, 1861-1913

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  • Stefano Fenoaltea

    () (Fondazione Luigi Einaudi Turin Italy)

Abstract

All the extant interpretations of united Italy?s early industrial development focus on the long swing in industrial investment evident in the familiar indices of the engineering industry's aggregate product. Disaggregated production series for that industry have now been compiled. The evidence they incorporate establishes that the long swing that dominates the aggregate was actually in the production of hardware, tied to investment in infrastructure. The production of machinery followed a different path: against the extant literature it shows that tariff hikes were influential, and above all that Italy's purchases of (domestic and foreign) machinery grew very steadily decade after decade. Industrial investment did not grow faster than before in the 1880s or over the belle epoque, it did not follow the long swing at all: the disaggregation of the engineering-industry product series has undercut the empirical premise of sixty years of scholarship.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefano Fenoaltea, 2020. "The fruits of disaggregation: The engineering industry, tariff protection, and the industrial investment cycle in Italy, 1861-1913," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 73(292), pages 77-110.
  • Handle: RePEc:psl:pslqrr:2020:14
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Stefano Fenoaltea, 2018. "Spleen: the failures of the cliometric school," HHB Working Papers Series 14, The Historical Household Budgets Project.
    2. Fenoaltea, Stefano, 2018. "The Growth of the Italian Economy, 1861-1913: Revised Second-Generation Expenditure-Side Estimates," MPRA Paper 88016, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Fenoaltea, Stefano, 2018. "The Growth of the Italian Economy, 1861−1913: The Composition Of Investment," MPRA Paper 88138, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Italy; industrialization; protection; investment cycle;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N63 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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