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Economic growth vs. land quality: a multidimensional approach in Italy


  • Luca Salvati
  • Marco Zitti


This paper evaluates the recent economic dynamics in Italy and their implications for a specified environmental topic - land quality and its vulnerability to degradation. As opposed to the traditional economic literature, centred on GDP level and changes, a multidimensional concept of 'economic growth' was developed in the present study by considering several variables (share of agriculture and industry on the total production, labour productivity by sector, per capita value added) within a Principal Component Analysis (PCA). This analysis was carried out with the aim of assessing diachronically the spatial association between (and, possibly, to clarify the implications of) the economic growth and the distribution of the vulnerable lands to degradation across nearly 700 Italian districts in the mid-1990s and mid-2000s. The geographical gradients and the socio-economic factors supposed to have a prominent role in this relationship were analysed by dividing the investigated area into three geographical belts with different environmental characteristics. PCA results indicate that the traditional north-south economic gap has not been significantly reduced throughout the last 10 years. Furthermore, coastal-inland and urban-rural gradients were revealed as crucial in the environment-economic transition. Finally, the implications of this nexus on land quality were discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Luca Salvati & Marco Zitti, 2011. "Economic growth vs. land quality: a multidimensional approach in Italy," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 54(6), pages 733-748.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jenpmg:v:54:y:2011:i:6:p:733-748
    DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2010.528612

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    Cited by:

    1. Luca Salvati, 2013. "Struttura produttiva, dinamiche di diffusione urbana e distribuzione spaziale dell’impermeabilizzazione del suolo: un’analisi esplorativa a scala locale," RIVISTA DI ECONOMIA E STATISTICA DEL TERRITORIO, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2013(2), pages 22-36.


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