Economic Growth and Change
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Economic Growth and Change

National and Regional Patterns of Convergence and Divergence

Edited by John Adams and Francesco Pigliaru

The pursuit of economic growth is at the top of every nation’s policy agenda at the end of the 20th century. This authoritative and comprehensive book goes beyond the narrowly-based convergence model of economic growth by considering global, national and regional patterns of growth from a comparative perspective.
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Chapter 12: Growth and sectoral dynamics in the Italian regions

Raffaele Paci and Francesco Pigliaru


Page 291  12. Growth and sectoral dynamics in the Italian regions  Raffaele Paci and Francesco Pigliaru  12.1 INTRODUCTION*  This chapter deals with one of the most studied cases of regional inequality. Regional differentials in per capita income and labour productivity in Italy have attracted the  attention of economists from all over the world since the 1950s, when Myrdal (1957) used it as an example of cumulative causation (among others, Eckaus, 1961;  Chenery, 1962; Lutz, 1962).  The characterizing feature of the Italian case is that all measures of the economic gap between the average Southern region and the rest of the country have shown it to  be remarkably persistent. Moreover, we do not yet have a full understanding of what is generating this persistence. The recent renewed attention to regional datasets  spurred by the literature on convergence (Barro and Sala­i­Martin, 1995) has further stimulated a long­standing discussion.  First, we provide a comprehensive description of the pattern of regional inequality in Italy. The principal reason for doing this is that a new dataset on the main regional  variables for the period 1951–94 was made available recently as the result of a major revision and update of the CRENoS database (see the appendix for more  details). In this first part of the chapter we use descriptive statistics and panel regression analysis of the kind widely used in the convergence debate, so that direct  comparison with other national cases is possible. In particular, we have added the national business cycle...

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