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Fascistville: Mussolini’s New Towns and the Persistence of Neo-Fascism

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Abstract

This paper explores the link between infrastructures built by autocratic regimes and political values. In Fascist Italy (1922-43), Mussolini founded 147 “New Towns.” I document that the New Towns enhanced local electoral support for the Fascist Party; and that the effect persisted through democratization and until recent times, enhancing local support for Italy’s neo-fascist party. Survey data show positive effects on preferences for stronger leaders, for nationalism, and other extremist views. The findings suggest that authoritarian leaders may exploit public investment programs to induce a favorable view of their ideology, which persists across institutional transitions and over the long term.

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  • Mario F. Carillo, 2021. "Fascistville: Mussolini’s New Towns and the Persistence of Neo-Fascism," CSEF Working Papers 598, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:598
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    1. Belmonte, Alessandro, 2020. "State Capacity, Schooling, and Fascist Education: Evidence from the Reclamation of the Pontine Marshes," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 528, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Infrastructures; Political Identity; Cultural Change; Autocracy; Voting.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures
    • N94 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: 1913-
    • Z18 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Public Policy

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