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Passive Modernization? The New Human Development Index and Its Components in Italy’s Regions (1871-2007)

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  • Emanuele Felice

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

  • Michelangelo Vasta

    (Department of Economics and Statistics, University of Siena)

Abstract

The article presents and discusses estimates of social and economic indicators for Italy’s regions in benchmark years roughly from Unification to the present day: life expectancy, education, Gdp per capita at purchasing power parity, and the new Human Development Index (HDI). A broad interpretative hypothesis, based on the distinction between passive and active modernization, is proposed to account for the evolution of regional imbalances over the long-run. In the lack of active modernization, Southern Italy converged thanks to passive modernization, i.e., State intervention: however, this was more effective in life expectancy, less successful in education, expensive and as a whole ineffective in Gdp. As a consequence, convergence in the HDI occurred from the late XIX century to the 1970s, but came to a sudden halt in the last decades of the XX century.

Suggested Citation

  • Emanuele Felice & Michelangelo Vasta, 2012. "Passive Modernization? The New Human Development Index and Its Components in Italy’s Regions (1871-2007)," UHE Working papers 2012_10, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica.
  • Handle: RePEc:aub:uhewps:2012_10
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Italy; regional growth; human development; Gdp; education; life expectancy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N34 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N90 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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