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Regional Disparities In Italy Over The Long Run: The Role Of Human Capital And Trade Policy

Author

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  • Luisa GAGLIARDI

    () (IMT, Lucca, Italy)

  • Marco PERCOCO

    () (Università Bocconi)

Abstract

The well known Italian dualism in terms of development disparities between the North and the South has been one of the most debated issues in economics over the last few decades. In the aftermath of the Unification of Italy, the gap between North and South in terms of human capital stock was more relevant than the dualism in terms of GDP per capita. In 1871 the percentage of population able to read and write was 57.7% in the North-West and only 15.9% in the South, while there is no evidence of income disparities. Interestingly, in 1951 income per capita in Southern regions was only about 50% of that of the North. Bearing this evidence in mind, and using a novel panel dataset, we in-vestigate the pattern of regional development focusing on the role of initial hu-man capital conditions as a major driver of growth over the period 1891–1951. We provide further empirical evidence on the impact of protectionist trade poli-cies in the late 19th century on long run development. We find that a numerical-ly large human capital stock in the North provided fertile soil for early industri-alization, while the protection of agriculture resulted in an incentive for the South to specialize further in the primary sector, which turned out to be harmful in the long run.

Suggested Citation

  • Luisa GAGLIARDI & Marco PERCOCO, 2011. "Regional Disparities In Italy Over The Long Run: The Role Of Human Capital And Trade Policy," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 33, pages 81-105.
  • Handle: RePEc:tou:journl:v:33:y:2011:p:81-105
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    File URL: http://region-developpement.univ-tln.fr/en/pdf/R33/Gagliardi.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. O'Rourke, Kevin H, 2000. "Tariffs and Growth in the Late 19th Century," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(463), pages 456-483, April.
    2. Rodriguez-Pose, Andres & Gill, Nicholas, 2006. "How does trade affect regional disparities?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1201-1222, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Giuseppe Bertola & Paolo Sestito, 2011. "A Comparative Perspective on Italy's Human Capital Accumulation," Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) 06, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    2. Claude DIEBOLT & Ralph HIPPE, 2017. "Regional human capital inequality in Europe in the long run, 1850-2010," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 45, pages 5-30.
    3. repec:bdi:workqs:qse_06 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Nicola Francesco Dotti & Ugo Fratesi & Camilla Lenzi & Marco Percoco, 2014. "Local labour market conditions and the spatial mobility of science and technology university students: evidence from Italy," Review of Regional Research: Jahrbuch für Regionalwissenschaft, Springer;Gesellschaft für Regionalforschung (GfR), vol. 34(2), pages 119-137, October.
    5. Maurice CATIN & Mohamed HAZEM, 2012. "Les Disparités De Taux D’Alphabétisation Selon Les Genres Dans Les Délégations Tunisiennes : Une Approche Par L’Économétrie Spatiale," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 35, pages 177-193.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    REGIONAL DISPARITIES; HUMAN CAPITAL; TRADE POLICY;

    JEL classification:

    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O24 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy

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