Munich Personal RePEc Archive

State intervention and economic growth in Southern Italy: the rise and fall of the «Cassa per il Mezzogiorno» (1950-1986)

Felice, Emanuele and Lepore, Amedeo (2016): State intervention and economic growth in Southern Italy: the rise and fall of the «Cassa per il Mezzogiorno» (1950-1986).

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Abstract

In the second half of the twentieth century, the Italian government carried out a massive regional policy in southern Italy, through the State-owned agency «Cassa per il Mezzogiorno» (1950-1986). The article reconstructs the activities of the Cassa, by taking advantage of its yearly reports. The agency was effective in the first two decades, thanks to substantial technical autonomy and, in the 1960s, to a strong focus on industrial development; however, since the 1970s it progressively became an instrument of waste and misallocation. Below this broad picture, we find important differences at the regional level, and significant correspondence between the quality of state intervention and the regional patterns of GDP and productivity.

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