Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The age distribution of the labor force as evidence of prior events: The Italian data for 1911 and the long swing in investment from Unification to the Great War

Pezzuto, Roberto (2015): The age distribution of the labor force as evidence of prior events: The Italian data for 1911 and the long swing in investment from Unification to the Great War.

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Abstract

The data on the age distribution of the labor force in the 1911 demographic census have been very largely neglected. This paper provides an initial examination of those data, which shed light on various aspects of the economy of the day -- and on its preceding path. In particular, these data reflect the long cycle in construction, and in the production of construction materials. They further suggest that the long cycle of the engineering industry documented by its aggregate metal consumption was indeed present in the production of construction-related hardware, but notably absent from the production of machinery and, derivatively, industrial investment. This last point denies the empirical premise of the extant interpretations of Italy’s post-Unification industrial growth; but it sits well with the new disaggregated time-series estimates of the engineering industry’s product.

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