IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

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

Listed author(s):


    (IMT, Lucca, Italy)

  • Marco PERCOCO


    (Università Bocconi)

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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var in its journal Région et Développement.

Volume (Year): 33 (2011)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages: 81-105

in new window

Handle: RePEc:tou:journl:v:33:y:2011:p:81-105
Contact details of provider: Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tou:journl:v:33:y:2011:p:81-105. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christophe Van Huffel)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.