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Agricultural Policy and Long-Run Development: Evidence from Mussolini’s Battle for Grain

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Abstract

This paper explores the effect of agricultural policies on industrialization and economic development over the long run. I analyze the differential effect of the Battle for Grain, implemented by the Italian Fascist regime to achieve self-sufficiency in wheat production, on the development path across areas of Italy. Employing time variation, along with cross-sectional variation in the suitability of land for implementing the advanced wheat production technologies, I find that the policy had unintended positive effects on industrialization and economic prosperity which have persisted until the present day. Furthermore, I find that the positive effect of the Battle for Grain on human capital accumulation was instrumental in this process, suggesting that the complementarity between human capital and agricultural technology may be a critical mechanism through which agricultural productivity may enhance the development of non-agricultural sectors.

Suggested Citation

  • Mario F. Carillo, 2018. "Agricultural Policy and Long-Run Development: Evidence from Mussolini’s Battle for Grain," CSEF Working Papers 518, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:518
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    Cited by:

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    2. Torben Dall Schmidt & Peter Sandholt Jensen & Amber Naz, 2018. "Agricultural productivity and economic development: the contribution of clover to structural transformation in Denmark," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 387-426, December.
    3. Huang, Kaixing, 2020. "Agricultural Productivity and Income Divergence: Evidence from the Green Revolution," MPRA Paper 108357, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 16 Jun 2021.
    4. Richard Grabowski & Sharmistha Self, 2022. "Role of agricultural productivity growth in economic development: the neglected impact on institutional quality in Africa," Evolutionary and Institutional Economics Review, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 681-700, September.
    5. Mario F. Carillo, 2022. "Fascistville: Mussolini’s new towns and the persistence of neo-fascism," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 27(4), pages 527-567, December.
    6. Carillo, Mario & Jappelli, Tullio, 2020. "Pandemics and Local Economic Growth: Evidence from the Great Influenza in Italy," CEPR Discussion Papers 14849, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Gong, Binlei, 2020. "Measuring and Achieving World Agricultural Convergence," 2020 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, Kansas City, Missouri 304347, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    8. Mario F. Carillo, 2021. "Human Capital Distribution and the Transition from Stagnation to Growth," CSEF Working Papers 599, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    9. Lingran Yuan & Shurui Zhang & Shuo Wang & Zesen Qian & Binlei Gong, 2021. "World agricultural convergence," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 55(2), pages 135-153, April.
    10. Carillo, Mario Francesco, 2018. "Fascistville: Mussolini's New Towns and the Persistence of Neo-Fascism," MPRA Paper 96236, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 03 Oct 2019.

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    Keywords

    Economic Growth; Agricultural Policy; Human Capital;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • N54 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O25 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Industrial Policy
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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