The Fruits of Disaggregation: The Engineering Industry, Tariff Protection, and the Industrial Investment Cycle in Italy, 1861-1913

49 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2017

Date Written: August 9, 2017

Abstract

All the extant interpretations of united Italy’s early industrial development focus on the long swing in industrial investment evident in the familiar indices of the engineering industry’s aggregate product. Disaggregated production series for that industry have now been compiled. The evidence they incorporate establishes that the long swing that dominates the aggregate was actually in the production of hardware, tied to investment in infrastructure. The production of machinery followed a different path: against the extant literature it shows that tariff hikes were influential, and above all that industry’s purchases of (domestic and foreign) equipment grew very steadily decade after decade. Industrial investment did not grow faster than before in the 1880s or over the belle époque, it did not follow the long swing at all: the disaggregation of the engineering-industry product series has undercut the empirical premise of sixty years of scholarship.

Keywords: industrialization, protection, investment cycle

JEL Classification: E01, N13, N63

Suggested Citation

Fenoaltea, Stefano, The Fruits of Disaggregation: The Engineering Industry, Tariff Protection, and the Industrial Investment Cycle in Italy, 1861-1913 (August 9, 2017). Bank of Italy Economic History Working Paper No. 41. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3082189 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3082189

Stefano Fenoaltea (Contact Author)

University of Turin ( email )

Via Po 53
Torino, Turin - Piedmont 10100
Italy

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