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Historical Legacy and Policy Effectiveness: the Long-Term Influence of pre-Unification Borders in Italy

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  • Guido de Blasio
  • Giovanna D'Adda

Abstract

This paper investigates the interplay between cultural traditions and policy effectiveness. It explores the differential impact of a large development program (Cassa per il Mezzogiorno), implemented for four decades, starting in the 1950s, to stimulate convergence between Italy's South and the more developed North, on municipalities with different histories. Namely, we consider a sample of municipalities located on either side of the historical border of the Kingdom of Sicily, whose legacy is considered, from Putnam (1993) onwards, to be a prime-facie cause of Southern Italy's underdevelopment. Having been part of the Kingdom of Sicily is associated with a negative impact of development policies, but only when the allocation of development funds through the Cassa per il Mezzogiorno suffered from low quality of governance and was driven by political considerations rather than by efficiency ones.

Suggested Citation

  • Guido de Blasio & Giovanna D'Adda, 2014. "Historical Legacy and Policy Effectiveness: the Long-Term Influence of pre-Unification Borders in Italy," ERSA conference papers ersa14p815, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa14p815
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Cassa per il Mezzogiorno, un fallimento per scarso civismo*
      by Giovanna D'Adda e Guido De Blasio in La Voce on 2016-08-05 13:10:09

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    Cited by:

    1. Dalmazzo, Alberto & de Blasio, Guido & Poy, Samuele, 2018. "Local secessions, homophily, and growth. A model with some evidence from the regions of Abruzzo and Molise (Italy, 1963)," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 284-306.
    2. Paolo Di Caro & Roberta Arbolino & Ugo Marani, 2018. "A note on the effects of human capital policies in Italy during the Great Recession," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 38(3), pages 1302-1312.
    3. Ciani, Emanuele & David, Francesco & de Blasio, Guido, 2019. "Local responses to labor demand shocks: A Re-assessment of the case of Italy," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 1-21.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic development; History; Social capital; Italy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N4 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation
    • O2 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy

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