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Poverty in Southern Italy: From Rural Misery to Urban Exclusion


  • Enrico Pugliese


This paper analyses the characteristics and specificities of poverty in Southern Italy. Absolute poverty has dramatically diminished in Italy and in the South over the last few decades. The population sectors worst hit by poverty have also changed in terms of demographic and social composition, as also in occupational and regional distribution. The most important change concerns the disappearance of conditions of rural misery characterizing Southern Italy up to the 1950s. Nevertheless, this decidedly positive trend also has a downside in the persistence of relative poverty and its concentration in the southern regions. The article emphasizes the important role of the welfare system and social policies in fighting poverty. Today poverty in Southern Italy is essentially an urban phenomenon, the urban poor being marginal on the labour market while at the same time having limited access to welfare benefits.

Suggested Citation

  • Enrico Pugliese, 2002. "Poverty in Southern Italy: From Rural Misery to Urban Exclusion," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 2, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:rar:journl:0161

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Davide Castellani, 2002. "Multinational experience and the creation of linkages with local firms: evidence from the electronics industry," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(1), pages 1-25, January.
    2. Giunta Anna & Florio Massimo, 2002. "L'esperienza dei contratti di programma: una valutazione a metà percorso," L'industria, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 359-396.
    3. Florio Massimo & Lucchetti Riccardo & Quaglia Floriana, 1999. "Crescita endogena e investimenti esterni: un modello dell'impatto occupazionale di lungo periodo della grande impresa nel Mezzogiorno," L'industria, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 591-612.
    4. Anna Giunta, 2004. "Large Firms and Subcontracting Relations in Commercial Aircraft," Industrial Organization 0403008, EconWPA.
    5. Onida Fabrizio, 1998. "L'industria italiana in un contesto aperto," L'industria, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 279-286.
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    More about this item


    Poverty; Provision of Welfare Programmes;

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs


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