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