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The Ghost in the Attic? The Italian National Innovation System in Historical Perspective, 1861-2011

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  • Alessandro Nuvolari
  • Michelangelo Vasta

Abstract

In this paper we provide a survey of the long term evolution of the Italian “National innovation system” since the unification. . First we provide a broad reconstruction of long term trends by examining a wide range of quantitative indicators of science and technological activities in comparative perspective. Second, on the basis of this quantitative picture, we put forward a conjectural interpretation of the fundamental features of the Italian national innovation system. Our conclusion is that Italy has approached the process of Modern Economic Growth following a peculiar path characterized by a limited commitment to investments in science and technology in combination with low real wages and the intense use of unskilled labour.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Nuvolari & Michelangelo Vasta, 2012. "The Ghost in the Attic? The Italian National Innovation System in Historical Perspective, 1861-2011," Department of Economics University of Siena 665, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  • Handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:665
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    Cited by:

    1. Paolo Di Martino & Michelangelo Vasta, 2012. "Happy 150th Birthday Italy? Institutions and Economic Performance Since 1861," Department of Economics University of Siena 662, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    2. repec:ssa:lemwps:2013/20 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Colli, Andrea & Rinaldi, Alberto, 2015. "Institutions, Politics, and the Corporate Economy," Enterprise & Society, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 249-269, June.
    4. Emanuele Felice & Michelangelo Vasta, 2015. "Passive modernization? The new human development index and its components in Italy's regions (1871–2007)," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 44-66.
    5. Alessandro Nuvolari & Michelangelo Vasta, 2015. "Independent invention in Italy during the Liberal Age, 1861–1913," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 68(3), pages 858-886, August.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Innovation systems; Economic Growth; Italy; Science; Technology;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N73 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N74 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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