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The roots of success: industrial growth in Italy reconsidered, 1911-1951

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  • Emanuele Felice

    (Unitat d'Història Econòmica, Departament d'Economia i d'Història Econòmica, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

  • Albert Carreras

    (Departament d'Economia i Empresa, Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

Abstract

This article reconsiders the growth of Italian industry from the First World War to the eve of the economic miracle, with the aid of sector-specific new value-added series, at three different price-bases. The new estimates reduce growth during the First World War, making the Italian case comparable to the other belligerent countries, while improving the performance of the 1920s. The 1929 crisis looks more profound than before, while the recovery after 1933 is now stronger. During the 1920s and the 1930s, a significant shift from traditional to more advanced activities took place: when confronted with the rest of Europe, the interwar period was a relative success, which laid the ground for the following economic boom.

Suggested Citation

  • Emanuele Felice & Albert Carreras, 2012. "The roots of success: industrial growth in Italy reconsidered, 1911-1951," UHE Working papers 2012_04, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica.
  • Handle: RePEc:aub:uhewps:2012_04
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ritschl, Albrecht, 2004. "Spurious growth in German output data, 1913 1938," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(02), pages 201-223, August.
    2. Giovanni Federico & Michelangelo Vasta, 2009. "Was industrialization an escape from the commodity lottery? Evidence from Italy, 1861-1940," Department of Economics University of Siena 573, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    3. Barbara Pistoresi & Alberto Rinaldi, 2011. "Exports and Italy’s economic development: a long-run perspective (1863-2004)," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 061, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    4. Albert Carreras & Emanuele Felice, 2010. "L'industria italiana dal 1911 al 1938: ricostruzione della serie del valore aggiunto e interpretazioni," Rivista di storia economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 285-334.
    5. Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, 2000. "International Comparisons of Real Product, 1820-1990: An Alternative Data Set," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 1-41, January.
    6. Fenoaltea, Stefano, 1969. "Public Policy and Italian Industrial Development, 1861–1913," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 29(01), pages 176-179, March.
    7. Tattara, Giuseppe & Toniolo, Giovanni, 1976. "L'industria manifatturiera: cicli, politiche e mutamenti di struttura (1921-1937)
      [Manufacturing in Italy: business cycle, politics, structural change (1921-1937)]
      ," MPRA Paper 39090, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Mattesini, Fabrizio & Quintieri, Beniamino, 1997. "Italy and the Great Depression: An Analysis of the Italian Economy, 1929-1936," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 265-294, July.
    9. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2011. "Industrial Catching Up in the Poor Periphery 1870-1975," NBER Working Papers 16809, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Felice, Emanuele & Vecchi, Giovanni, 2015. "Italy’s Modern Economic Growth, 1861–2011," Enterprise & Society, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(02), pages 225-248, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Italy; industry; national accounts; world war I; 1929 crisis; world war II;

    JEL classification:

    • N14 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N64 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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