Von Thünen South of the Alps : Access to Markets and Interwar Italian Agriculture
This paper sheds new light on the agricultural side of the Italian regional divide from an economic geography perspective, following a Von Thünen approach. The central hypothesis is that the development of the non-agricultural economy in Northern cities drove the location of agricultural output and inputs during the interwar years. A new database on Italian agriculture around 1930 fully confirms the key role of access to domestic markets in shaping agricultural activity. Thus, the causes of the falling behind of Southern agriculture are uncovered: it is not very surprising that an agricultural divergence joined an already ongoing industrial divergence during a period in which international markets collapsed.
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