What policies do we need for Southern Italy? The role of national and regional policies in the last decade
In this paper we examine the Italian regional policies launched in the second half of the 1990s and aimed at promoting the development of Southern Italy. Ten years on, the goals have not been reached, either in terms of social and economic development, or of the performance of firms receiving government aid. In evaluating the discrepancy between targets and results we argue that the failure of regional policies is a facet of the more general failure of Italian economic policies in the last fifteen years, clearly witnessed by the stagnation of growth and productivity both in the North and Centre and in the South. Two main aspects are highlighted: the effectiveness of regional policies has been affected by national legal rules that have had different effects across regions and have usually allowed a lower quality of public expenditure in the South; the effectiveness of regional policies has been diminished also by attributing importance to regional governments as control centres of public intervention.
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