The Long-run Growth Trajectories of Third Italy's Cities
The paper conducts an empirical exploration of the growth trajectories of the main cities of the Third Italy - a macro-region that has attracted much attention for its economic performances in the past decades. The findings of the extraordinary heterogeneity of city growth trajectories - a why-question still unobserved and unaddressed - will be discussed with regard to two methodological issues: firstly, the claim that macro-regional performances can be explained by macro-regional factors; secondly, the hypothesis, implicit in many studies, that the factors treated in the model as explanatory variables of macro-regional and urban economic performances remain constant over time. As the paper will show, the results of the empirical analysis question important parts of the received explanation of Third Italy's economic success, and they also prompt more general reflection on the theoretical framework to be used to study the long-run growth performances of cities.
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