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Patterns of industrial specialisation in post-Unification Italy

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  • Carlo Ciccarelli
  • Tommaso Proietti

Abstract

This paper investigates the main patterns of industrial specialisation in Italian provinces over half a century following the Unification of the country. To this end, we propose a multivariate graphical technique named dynamic specialisation biplot . In 1871, specialisation vocations towards the different manufacturing sectors were limited in size and no clear geographical clustering emerged. A regional specialisation divide resulted instead clearly in 1911. In 1871 as in 1911, the foodstuffs, textile and engineering sectors represented the three pillars delimiting the arena of the specialisation race. Within that arena, the effect of public policies on the temporal evolution of provincial specialisation is considered. The adoption of free trade in the early 1860s affected noticeably the industrial specialisation of a few Neapolitan provinces. The subsequent protectionist measures altered the specialisation trajectories of selected northern provinces, largely attracted by the textile sector during the 1880s, and by the rapidly growing engineering sector in the pre-First World War decade. Within and between regional homogeneity and smooth specialisation, trajectories are instead representative of most of the remaining provinces. Among them, southern provinces exhibit specialisation paths revealing that little more than a composition effect occurred among manufacturing sectors.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlo Ciccarelli & Tommaso Proietti, 2013. "Patterns of industrial specialisation in post-Unification Italy," Scandinavian Economic History Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 61(3), pages 259-286, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:sehrxx:v:61:y:2013:i:3:p:259-286
    DOI: 10.1080/03585522.2013.819029
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Zamagni, Vera, 1997. "The Economic History of Italy 1860-1990," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292890, October.
    2. Fenoaltea, Stefano, 2003. "Notes on the Rate of Industrial Growth in Italy, 1861–1913," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(3), pages 695-735, September.
    3. Fenoaltea, Stefano, 2003. "Peeking Backward: Regional Aspects of Industrial Growth in Post-Unification Italy," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(4), pages 1059-1102, December.
    4. Greenacre Michael, 2010. "Biplots in Practice," Books, Fundacion BBVA / BBVA Foundation, number 2011113, December.
    5. Carlo Ciccarelli & Stefano Fenoaltea, 2013. "Through the magnifying glass: provincial aspects of industrial growth in post-Unification Italy," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 66(1), pages 57-85, February.
    6. Carlo Ciccarelli & Stefano Fenoaltea, 2009. "Shipbuilding in Italy, 1861-1913: the burden of the evidence," Historical Social Research (Section 'Cliometrics'), Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 34(2), pages 333-373.
    7. Fenoaltea,Stefano, 2014. "The Reinterpretation of Italian Economic History," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107658080.
    8. Ciccarelli, Carlo & Fenoaltea, Stefano, 2007. "Business fluctuations in Italy, 1861-1913: The new evidence," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 432-451, July.
    9. la Grange, Anthony & le Roux, Niël & Gardner-Lubbe, Sugnet, 2009. "BiplotGUI: Interactive Biplots in R," Journal of Statistical Software, Foundation for Open Access Statistics, vol. 30(i12).
    10. Fenoaltea, Stefano, 1988. "International resource flows and construction movements in the atlantic economy: the kuznets cycle in Italy, 1861–1913," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(3), pages 605-637, September.
    11. Carlo Ciccarelli & Stefano Fenoaltea, 2008. "The Chemicals, Coal and Petroleum Products, and Rubber Industries in Italy's Regions, 1861-1913: Time-Series Estimates," Rivista di storia economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 3-58.
    12. Stefano Fenoaltea, 2004. "Textile production in Italy's regions, 1861-1913," Rivista di storia economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 145-174.
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    1. Carlo Ciccarelli & Stefano Fachin, 2017. "Regional growth with spatial dependence: A case study on early Italian industrialization," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(4), pages 675-695, November.
    2. Alessandro Nuvolari & Michelangelo Vasta, 2017. "The geography of innovation in Italy, 1861–1913: evidence from patent data," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 326-356.

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