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Reconstructing The Past: Italy's Historical National Accounts, 1861-1913


  • Fenoaltea, Stefano


This paper summarizes the evolution of Italy’s historical national accounts, and presents an updated reconstruction of the production side, the expenditure side, and the composition of investment from Unification to the Great War. On the production side, the major improvements stem from the recovery of evidence on harvest fluctuations, which increases short-term volatility, and the removal of gross errors in the estimates for the services, which sharply reduces pre-War GDP. The expenditure-side disaggregation reaffirms the Kuznets- cycle path of fixed investment; the cut in GDP yields a cut in consumption, but does not imply a lower standard of living.

Suggested Citation

  • Fenoaltea, Stefano, 2020. "Reconstructing The Past: Italy's Historical National Accounts, 1861-1913," MPRA Paper 98350, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:98350

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    Italy; Production; Measurement; Historical National Accounts;

    JEL classification:

    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • N01 - Economic History - - General - - - Development of the Discipline: Historiographical; Sources and Methods

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