This paper uses the ‘access orders’ paradigm developed by North, Wallis, and Weingast [(2009). Violence and social order. A conceptual framework for Interpreting Recorded human history. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press] to analyse the case of the Italian North–South economic divide. In line with their framework, we collect and discuss several social and political indicators over the long-run, at the regional level. Firstly we looked at data on the pre-conditions for the establishment of an open-access order, such as murders per capita (a proxy for control over violence), voting turnout and referendums participation (proxies for political legitimacy), and the impersonality of exchange. We then showed evidence of different access orders in the North and in the South, using the information on human capital formation, women participation in the labour market, and referendum results. On the basis of this evidence, we argue that, despite being part of the same State and subject to the same formal institutions, the North of the country progressively developed into an open-access order, while the South remained a form of limited access order. Institutional differences are linked to specific aspects of the economic performance of the two areas, thus the ‘access order’ paradigm appears to be an effective conceptual scheme to explain the North–South economic divide

A tale of two Italies: ‘access-orders’ and the Italian regional divide

Felice, Emanuele;
2019

Abstract

This paper uses the ‘access orders’ paradigm developed by North, Wallis, and Weingast [(2009). Violence and social order. A conceptual framework for Interpreting Recorded human history. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press] to analyse the case of the Italian North–South economic divide. In line with their framework, we collect and discuss several social and political indicators over the long-run, at the regional level. Firstly we looked at data on the pre-conditions for the establishment of an open-access order, such as murders per capita (a proxy for control over violence), voting turnout and referendums participation (proxies for political legitimacy), and the impersonality of exchange. We then showed evidence of different access orders in the North and in the South, using the information on human capital formation, women participation in the labour market, and referendum results. On the basis of this evidence, we argue that, despite being part of the same State and subject to the same formal institutions, the North of the country progressively developed into an open-access order, while the South remained a form of limited access order. Institutional differences are linked to specific aspects of the economic performance of the two areas, thus the ‘access order’ paradigm appears to be an effective conceptual scheme to explain the North–South economic divide
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11564/709183
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