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The Historical Roots of Corruption and Economic Development in Italy

  • Ilaria Petrarca
  • Roberto Ricciuti

We claim that a sequential mechanism linking history to development exists: first, history defines the quality of social capital; then, social capital determines the level of corruption; finally, corruption affects economic performance. We test this hypothesis on a dataset of Italian provinces, and address the possible endogeneity of corruption by applying an IV model. We use three sets of historical instruments for corruption: 1) foreign dominations in 16th-17th century, 2) autocracy/autonomous rule in the 14th century, and 3) an index of social capital between in the 19th-20th century. The results indicate a significant impact of historically-driven corruption on development.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4212.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4212
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  1. Adriana Di Liberto & Marco Sideri, 2012. "Past Dominations, Current Institutions and the Italian Regional Economic Performance," DEGIT Conference Papers c017_022, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  2. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-79, April.
  3. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 271-303, 09.
  4. Kugler, Maurice & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2003. "Organized Crime, Corruption and Punishment," CEPR Discussion Papers 3806, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Rodrik, Dani & Subramanian, Arvind & Trebbi, Francesco, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 3643, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Vito Tanzi, 1998. "Corruption Around the World: Causes, Consequences, Scope, and Cures," IMF Working Papers 98/63, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Guido de Blasio & Giorgio Nuzzo, 2010. "Historical Traditions Of Civicness And Local Economic Development," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 833-857.
  8. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  9. Nadia Fiorino & Emma Galli & Ilaria Petrarca, 2012. "Corruption and Growth: Evidence from the Italian Regions," European Journal of Government and Economics, Europa Grande, vol. 1(2), pages 126-144, December.
  10. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
  11. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  12. Vito Tanzi, 1998. "Corruption Around the World: Causes, Consequences, Scope, and Cures," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(4), pages 559-594, December.
  13. Krueger, Anne O, 1974. "The Political Economy of the Rent-Seeking Society," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(3), pages 291-303, June.
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