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Building synthetic indicators for aspects of territorial capital

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Empirical analyses highlight local structural features (territorial capital) as constraints on regional growth and interregional convergence processes, but scant attention is devoted to traditional localised resources and specifically the natural and cultural heritage. However, no heritage provides value by itself: only the application of know-how embodied in human capital achieves this. Specifically, natural and cultural heritage becomes economically relevant through human capital acting through tourist, recreational and cultural activities. Also because of its service exporting nature, tourism is believed to contribute to economic growth and job creation similarly to manufacturing; nevertheless, theoretical and empirical literature concerned manufacturing and rarely studied tourism or extended results to it. Besides, tourism is the market activity most favouring policentricity in Europe: apparently, tourism brings territorial cohesion and equity, although its most dynamic component (culture, events) favours metropolitan locations. However, heritage valorisation responding to tourist service demand may have adverse effects on development (congestion) and significant impacts on environmental quality and on resource consumption (heritage dissipation); these partly offsets strictly economic benefits and over time they weaken the destination’s pull, hence its value and its population’s welfare. Our goal is to explore the role of territorial capital, and specifically of intangibles such as the natural and cultural capital, in regional growth processes and in local response processes to exogenous crises. To this end we aim at achieving the following objectives: i) developing the theoretical framework of territorial capital, highlighting the role of immobile resources in local economic growth and in its spatial differentials, and the role of human capital in resource valorisation; ii) building a national database of territorial capital in Italian provinces, containing synthetic endowment indicators for natural and cultural heritage, human capital, and structure and distribution of the tourism and leisure industries. Our methodology includes the application of multivariate, and later on econometric, analyses, with the relevant state-of-the-art techniques. We use already available European and national databases, making recourse to ad hoc integrations if and when needed. The study area is Italy; the optimal tier is NUTS3, i.e. provinces, in Italy. The time reference is the period from the early 1990s to the latest available year, to ensure a structural long-term approach.

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  • Michela Martinoia & Tomaso Pompili, 2015. "Building synthetic indicators for aspects of territorial capital," LIUC Papers in Economics 290, Cattaneo University (LIUC).
  • Handle: RePEc:liu:liucec:290
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    1. G. Fabiola Safonte & Claudio Bellia & Pietro Columba, 2021. "Commoning of territorial heritage and tools of participated sustainability for the production and enhancement of agro-environmental public goods," Agricultural and Food Economics, Springer;Italian Society of Agricultural Economics (SIDEA), vol. 9(1), pages 1-20, December.

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