The ripples of the industrial revolution: Exports, economic growth, and regional integration in Italy in the early nineteenth century

Giovanni Federico, Antonio Tena-Junguito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The conventional wisdom about the early stages of modern economic growth in Italy is still heavily influenced by Cafagna in his book Dualismo e sviluppo nella storia d'Italia (Padova: Marsilio 1989). He argued that the exports of primary products to industrializing North-Western countries were the main source of growth and that exports of silk stimulated the industrialization of the North-West (the industrial triangle). However, the benefits did not extend to the rest of the country. In this paper, we argue that this view is not supported by the trade data. Italian exports grew slowly relative to European and world trade, and exports from the North grew less than the total. This view tallies well with some recent estimates of GDP per capita, which show no increase before the Unification of Italy (1861).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-369
Number of pages21
JournalEuropean Review of Economic History
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)

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