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Agricultural Policy and Long-Run Development: Evidence from Mussolini’s Battle for Grain

Mario Carillo

CSEF Working Papers from Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy

Abstract: This paper explores the effect of agricultural policies on industrialization and economic development over the long run. I analyze the differential effect of the Battle for Grain, implemented by the Italian Fascist regime to achieve self-sufficiency in wheat production, on the development path across areas of Italy. Employing time variation, along with cross-sectional variation in the suitability of land for implementing the advanced wheat production technologies, I find that the policy had unintended positive effects on industrialization and economic prosperity which have persisted until the present day. Furthermore, I find that the positive effect of the Battle for Grain on human capital accumulation was instrumental in this process, suggesting that the complementarity between human capital and agricultural technology may be a critical mechanism through which agricultural productivity may enhance the development of non-agricultural sectors.

Keywords: Economic Growth; Agricultural Policy; Human Capital (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-gro and nep-his
Date: 2018-12-10
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