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Joint-stock companies dynamics, legal institutions and regional economic disparities in Italy (1858-1914)


  • Pierangelo Toninelli
  • Claudio Pavese


The paper represents the outcome of an ongoing research program on the dynamics of joint stock companies in Italy between the 1861 Unification of the country and World War 1. It is based on a considerable quantity of data, the bulk of which is constituted by the very detailed set covering the 1883-1913 period, which started to be collected many years ago and has a very reliable empirical support, the weekly companies’ official bulletin. Furthermore evidence for the preceding years have requested accurate investigation about the disposable quantitative information, their homogeneity and comparability. Apart from commenting upon the result of this unique collection of quantitative information, the paper will hopefully provide a not negligible contribution to the explanation of the Italian first period of economic growth and - more specifically - to the origins and evolution of the country’s regional inequalities. It is aimed at enlightening internal economic and social disparities also in terms of the diverging rhythm of private capital formation between the northern and southern regions. It will inquire if and how the joint-stock companies long-term dynamics showed unequal regional concentration, therefore penalizing the economic growth of the areas less affected by the phenomenon.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierangelo Toninelli & Claudio Pavese, 2014. "Joint-stock companies dynamics, legal institutions and regional economic disparities in Italy (1858-1914)," Working Papers 282, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:282

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fenoaltea, Stefano, 2003. "Peeking Backward: Regional Aspects of Industrial Growth in Post-Unification Italy," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(04), pages 1059-1102, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pepelasis, Ioanna Sapfo & Emmanouilidi, Elpianna, 2013. "A Historical Overview of Joint Stock Company Births in Greece (1830-1909): Coincidence, causality and determinants," MPRA Paper 47335, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Italy pre-1913; joint stock companies; corporate law;

    JEL classification:

    • N23 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • K22 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Business and Securities Law

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