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The Economic Lag of the Mezzogiorno: A Steady State?

  • Francesco Pigliaru

In this article I maintain that until the mid-Seventies the regions of the Italian Mezzogiorno followed a path first of divergence, then of convergence, reflecting a familiar pattern. The main characteristic in the case of the Mezzogiorno, however, is that the convergence phase led the area to a remarkably unfavorable steady-state. Further, I suggest that the disappointing results obtained in the area with numerous richly financed public policies are partly due to the poorer quality of the institutions in the Southern regions. In the second part of the article I discuss recent contributions that associate this failure of local institutions with the short supply of social capital, and that put its persistence down to mechanisms of intergenerational transmission of values and norms that change very slowly over time. In the final part of the paper I briefly discuss the role of economic policy faced with mechanisms of this nature.

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Article provided by Associazione Rossi Doria in its journal QA.

Volume (Year): (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:rar:journl:0118
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  1. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1991. "Convergence across States and Regions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(1), pages 107-182.
  2. Raffaele Paci & Francesco Pigliaru, 1999. "Growth and sectoral dynamics in the Italian regions," Chapters, in: Economic Growth and Change, chapter 12 Edward Elgar.
  3. A. Di Liberto & F. Pigliaru & R. Mura, 2004. "How to measure the unobservable: a panel technique for the analysis of TFP convergence," Working Paper CRENoS 200405, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  4. Boltho, Andrea & Carlin, Wendy & Scaramozzino, Pasquale, 1997. "Will East Germany Become a New Mezzogiorno?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 241-264, June.
  5. Emanuela Marrocu & Raffaele Paci, 2010. "The effects of public capital on the productivity of the Italian regions," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(8), pages 989-1002.
  6. Miriam A. Golden & Lucio Picci, 2005. "Proposal For A New Measure Of Corruption, Illustrated With Italian Data," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17, pages 37-75, 03.
  7. Bronzini, Raffaello & de Blasio, Guido, 2006. "Evaluating the impact of investment incentives: The case of Italy's Law 488/1992," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 327-349, September.
  8. Robert E. Lucas, 2000. "Some Macroeconomics for the 21st Century," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 159-168, Winter.
  9. Barro, Robert J & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1992. "Convergence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 223-51, April.
  10. A. Di Liberto, 2004. "Convergence clubs and the role of human capital in Spanish Regional Growth," Working Paper CRENoS 200418, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  11. Vittorio Daniele & Paolo Malanima, 2007. "Il prodotto delle regioni e il divario Nord-Sud in Italia (1861-2004)," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 97(2), pages 267-316, March-Apr.
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