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Was industrialization an escape from the commodity lottery? Evidence from Italy, 1861-1940

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  • Giovanni Federico

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  • Michelangelo Vasta

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Abstract

the specialization in exporting primary products is frequently deemed harmful for long-run development, because it increases volatility of terms of trade and thus the number and frequency of macroeconomic shocks. One would expect modern economic growth to solve the problem by changing the composition of trade. This paper tests this hypothesis with a new series of Italian terms of trade from 1861 to 1939, a period which spans the first stage of the industrialization of the country. The results do not tally with the hypothesis. The change in composition improved marginally the terms of trade, but it did not help much in terms of volatility

Suggested Citation

  • Giovanni Federico & Michelangelo Vasta, 2009. "Was industrialization an escape from the commodity lottery? Evidence from Italy, 1861-1940," Department of Economics University of Siena 573, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  • Handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:573
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    File URL: http://repec.deps.unisi.it/quaderni/573.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Michelangelo Vasta, 2009. "Italian export capacity in the long run perspective (1861-2009): a tortuous path to keep the position," Department of Economics University of Siena 572, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    2. Emanuele Felice & Albert Carreras, 2012. "The roots of success: industrial growth in Italy reconsidered, 1911-1951," UHE Working papers 2012_04, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Italian trade; Terms of trade; Economic growth; Volatility;

    JEL classification:

    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N70 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General

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