Social Variables and Economic Success: The Case of Italian Industrial Development

UC Davis Economics Working Paper No. 04-2

39 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2004

See all articles by Giovanni Peri

Giovanni Peri

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 31, 2004

Abstract

Italy makes for a very interesting case study of the impact of social variables on economic performance. Across its provinces, differences in social and cultural attitudes seem associated to large differences in economic development. We analyze the importance of some social variables on industrialization and on employment creation across 95 Italian provinces during the period 1951-1991. On one hand we find little evidence that civic involvement (Social Capital) was associated with industrial and economic development. On the other hand we find strong evidence that organized crime, measured as high murder rates, was negatively correlated with industrial and economic development. We use measures of murder rates in the distant past to suggest that the correlation captures, at least in part, a stable and possibly causal link between organized crime and lack of employment growth.

Keywords: Industrial Development, Regional Productivity, Italian Provinces, Civic Spirit, Murder Rates

JEL Classification: R3, Z13, O52

Suggested Citation

Peri, Giovanni, Social Variables and Economic Success: The Case of Italian Industrial Development (March 31, 2004). UC Davis Economics Working Paper No. 04-2. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=525163 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.525163

Giovanni Peri (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics ( email )

One Shields Drive
Davis, CA 95616-8578
United States
530-752-3033 (Phone)
530-752-9382 (Fax)

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