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The industrial geography of Italy: provinces, regions and border effects, 1871-1911


  • Anna Missiaia

    () (Lund University)


"Italy has been characterized, throughout its unified history, by large regional differentials in the level of industrialization. This paper looks at the distribution of industrial employment in the period 1871–1911. Using provincial industrial employment from Ciccarelli and Missiaia (2013) we address the question whether the change in the industrial employment at provincial level depends on the change in the industrial employment in the neighbouring provinces. The methodology proposed by Overman and Puga (2002) use neighbouring effects, based on neighbours employment, as explanatory variables for change in industrial employment. The same exercise is repeated using pre-unitary borders to define neighbours, in order to assess the persistence of pre-1861 institutions on the industrial geography of unified Italy. The main result of the paper is that regional borders did matter in shaping the industrial geography of Italy. We find that the change in provincial industrial employment is positively affected by the change of the neighbouring provinces belonging to the same region but negatively from the change of the neighbouring provinces belonging to another region. When the pre-unitary borders are used, the findings are basically confirmed."

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Missiaia, 2015. "The industrial geography of Italy: provinces, regions and border effects, 1871-1911," Working Papers 15012, Economic History Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehs:wpaper:15012

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Giordano, Claire & Giugliano, Ferdinando, 2015. "A tale of two Fascisms: Labour productivity growth and competition policy in Italy, 1911–1951," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 25-38.
    2. Carlo Ciccarelli & Stefano Fenoaltea, 2013. "Through the magnifying glass: provincial aspects of industrial growth in post-Unification Italy," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 66(1), pages 57-85, February.
    3. Carlo Ciccarelli & Anna Missiaia, 2013. "The Industrial Labor Force of Italy's Provinces: Estimates from the Population Censuses, 1871-1911," Rivista di storia economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 141-192.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gabriele Cappelli, 2016. "One size that didn’t fit all? Electoral franchise, fiscal capacity and the rise of mass schooling across Italy’s provinces, 1870–1911," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 10(3), pages 311-343, September.

    More about this item


    Economic Geography; Economic History of Italy; Market Potential; Border Effect; Industrial Location;

    JEL classification:

    • N63 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N93 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • R3 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)


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