Administrative Reforms and Urban Development: Lessons from Italian Unification

71 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2022

See all articles by Giulio Cainelli

Giulio Cainelli

Università degli Studi di Bari - Dipartimento per lo Studio delle Societa Mediterranee; CERIS-CNR

Carlo Ciccarelli

University of Rome Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics

Roberto Ganau

University of Padua

Date Written: April 2, 2022

Abstract

We study how changes in the political-administrative hierarchy of a country affect urban development. We exploit the 1865 administrative reform occurred in the aftermath of Italian unification as a quasi-natural experiment to assess whether district’s capital cities endowed with supra-municipal administrative functions by law gained a population growth premium compared to similar non-capital cities in the period 1871-1921. We rely on difference-in-differences and event study estimation strategies, and find that district’s capital cities recorded a time-persistent population growth premium. Three main mechanisms explain our results: increases in public employment; increases in manufacturing employment; and development of the infrastructure endowment.

Keywords: Administrative reforms; political-administrative hierarchy; urban development; Italian unification

JEL Classification: H11, N13, O11, R11

Suggested Citation

Cainelli, Giulio and Ciccarelli, Carlo and Ganau, Roberto, Administrative Reforms and Urban Development: Lessons from Italian Unification (April 2, 2022). CEIS Working Paper No. 538, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4073819 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4073819

Giulio Cainelli

Università degli Studi di Bari - Dipartimento per lo Studio delle Societa Mediterranee ( email )

Piazza Umberto I
70124 Bari, 70121
Italy

CERIS-CNR ( email )

Via Avogadro 8
10121 Torino
Italy

Carlo Ciccarelli

University of Rome Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Via Columbia n.2
Rome, rome 00100
Italy

Roberto Ganau (Contact Author)

University of Padua ( email )

Via 8 Febbraio
Padova, Vicenza 2-35122
Italy

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