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Southern Italy’s Agriculture: « Beef and Bone» Areas Fifty Years Later


  • Michele De Benedictis


Fifty years ago, analyzing the characteristics of agriculture in Southern Italy and the prospects facing it, Manlio Rossi-Doria put forward the famous metaphorical division into two main zones: the «beef» areas, with good prospects for rapid development, and the «bone» areas, characterized by poverty in both natural resources and the socio-economic context. The aim of the present paper is to analyse performance in Southern agriculture between 1980 and 2000, applying the same interpretative key. Two major trends are singled out, namely enlargement of the «beef» areas and internal differentiation of the «bone» context, and the main factors responsible for limited progress towards productivist modernization are identified. Finally, looking at the developments that occurred in the nineties we find the «beef» areas showing the onset of serious environmental problems while various aspects of evolution in the «bone» contexts are consistent with a scenario of qualitative modernization.

Suggested Citation

  • Michele De Benedictis, 2002. "Southern Italy’s Agriculture: « Beef and Bone» Areas Fifty Years Later," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 2, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:rar:journl:0164

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    Economic Development; Rural Analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure


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