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The Economic Lag of the Mezzogiorno: A Steady State?

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  • Francesco Pigliaru

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Pigliaru, 2009. "The Economic Lag of the Mezzogiorno: A Steady State?," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 3, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:rar:journl:0118
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Adriana Di Liberto & Francesco Pigliaru & Roberto Mura, 2008. "How to measure the unobservable: a panel technique for the analysis of TFP convergence," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(2), pages 343-368, April.
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    6. Raffaele Paci & Francesco Pigliaru, 1999. "Growth and sectoral dynamics in the Italian regions," Chapters,in: Economic Growth and Change, chapter 12 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Nathan Nunn, 2009. "The Importance of History for Economic Development," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 65-92, May.
    8. Andrea Boltho & Wendy Carlin & Pasquale Scaramozzino, 1999. "Will East Germany become a new Mezzogiorno?," Chapters,in: Economic Growth and Change, chapter 13 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. 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, March.
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    11. 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.
    12. Barro, Robert J & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1992. "Convergence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 223-251, April.
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