Munich Personal RePEc Archive

(Re-)exploring the link between devolution and regional disparities in Italy

Torrisi, Gianpiero and Pike, Andy and Tomaney, John and Tselios, Vassilis (2011): (Re-)exploring the link between devolution and regional disparities in Italy.


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The existence of an economic dividend - in terms of regional disparities -of the global devolutionary trend registered over the past three decades is still ambiguous both on theoretical and empirical grounds and it is likely to be casespecific. With respect to the Italian case it has been argued that since 1996, even in an indirect way, a negative effect of devolution on regional disparities arose. However, our empirical analysis suggests that the decline in Italian regional disparities over the decade 1996-2006 has been decisively driven by the dynamic of population and, to some extent, by the loss of competitiveness and consequent low relative performance of northern regions. Therefore, the link between devolution and spatial disparities appears to be rather spurious and, if any, its beneficial effect has been uneven both in time and space.

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