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Il divario Nord-Sud in Italia (1861-2011): lo stato dell'arte
[Italy’s North-South divide (1861-2011): the state of the art]

Author

Listed:
  • Felice, Emanuele

Abstract

Abstract (English) In recent years there have been major advances in our historical knowledge of regional disparities in Italy; as a consequence, the debate on the causes of the North-South divide (and thus, ultimately, on strategies and possibilities to overcome it) has also revived. By mainly drawing on my latest book on this subject [Perché il Sud è rimasto indietro, 2013], this paper presents the state of the art of the history of Italy’s North-South divide, since Unification until our days. The first section provides an updated discussion of regional differences − in income but also in social indicators − at the time of the country’s Unification (1861). In the second section, the evolution of regional GDPs from the late XIX century until our days is briefly reviewed, through the main phases of Italian political and economic history. The third part provides a critical discussion, with some reference to the international literature, on the various hypotheses put forward to explain the persistent North-South divide. My main argument is summed up in the conclusions: there was a socio-institutional divide between the North and the South of the peninsula, that pre-exists Unification, in some respects grows stronger with it and is never bridged throughout the history of post-unification Italy. Admittedly, some socio-institutional convergence took place in the last decades, but this went in a direction opposite to the desirable one − that is, the North and Italy as a whole have begun to look similar to the South, rather than viceversa. Abstract (italiano) Negli ultimi anni sono stati fatti importanti progressi nella nostra conoscenza sull’evoluzione dei divari regionali in Italia; ultimamente si è anche riaperto il dibattito sulle cause del divario Nord-Sud (e quindi, in prospettiva, sulle strategie e le possibilità per superarlo). A partire dall’analisi più distesa condotta in Perché il Sud è rimasto indietro [Felice 2013], questo intervento prova a fare il punto sullo stato dell’arte. La prima parte è dedicata alla discussione delle differenze regionali − nel reddito ma anche negli indicatori sociali − intorno all’Unità. Nella seconda, verrà illustrato brevemente l’andamento dei divari di reddito dall’Unità sino ai nostri giorni, lungo le principali fasi della storia unitaria. La terza parte offre una discussione critica, con qualche riferimento alla letteratura internazionale, sulle spiegazioni ipotizzate circa il persistente divario Nord-Sud che non ritengo essere adeguate per il caso italiano. Nelle conclusioni si riassume invece brevemente la tesi sostenuta in Perché il Sud è rimasto indietro: ovvero l’esistenza di un divario di tipo socio-istituzionale fra il Nord e il Sud della penisola, che preesiste all’Unificazione, si rafforza con essa e non viene mai superato nel corso della nostra storia − se non forse negli ultimi anni, ma in una direzione contraria a quella auspicabile, con il Nord che rischia di assomigliare sempre più al Mezzogiorno.

Suggested Citation

  • Felice, Emanuele, 2015. "Il divario Nord-Sud in Italia (1861-2011): lo stato dell'arte
    [Italy’s North-South divide (1861-2011): the state of the art]
    ," MPRA Paper 62209, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:62209
    as

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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/62209/1/MPRA_paper_62209.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dincecco, Mark & Federico, Giovanni & Vindigni, Andrea, 2011. "Warfare, Taxation, and Political Change: Evidence from the Italian Risorgimento," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 71(04), pages 887-914, December.
    2. Emanuele Felice & Giovanni Vecchi, 2013. "Italy’s Growth and Decline, 1861-2011," CEIS Research Paper 293, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 11 Oct 2013.
    3. Emanuele Felice, 2012. "Regional convergence in Italy, 1891–2001: testing human and social capital," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 6(3), pages 267-306, October.
    4. Felice, Emanuele, 2014. "Il Mezzogiorno fra storia e pubblicistica. Una replica a Daniele e Malanima
      [Southern Italy between history and journalistic books. A reply to Daniele and Malanima]
      ," MPRA Paper 55830, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Kenneth L. Sokoloff & Stanley L. Engerman, 2000. "Institutions, Factor Endowments, and Paths of Development in the New World," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 217-232, Summer.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Emanuele Felice, 2015. "La stima e l’interpretazione dei divari regionali nel lungo periodo: i risultati principali e alcune tracce di ricerca," SCIENZE REGIONALI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2015(3), pages 91-120.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Storia economica d’Italia; Sviluppo regionale; Questione meridionale; Stime del Pil; Istituzioni.;

    JEL classification:

    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N14 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N93 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N94 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: 1913-
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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