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Pirate Attacks and the Shape of the Italian Urban System

Antonio Accetturo, Michele Cascarano and Guido de Blasio

No 2019/15, DEM Working Papers from Department of Economics and Management

Abstract: rom the sixteenth to the early nineteenth century, coastal areas of Italy (especially, in the south-west) were subject to attacks by pirates launched from the shores of Northern Africa. This paper documents that, in order to protect themselves, residents of coastal locations moved inland to mountainous and rugged areas. It also shows that such relocation constrained local economic development for a long period after the piracy threat had subsided. By hampering the growth of major urban centers, the attacks may have also had aggregate consequences on Italy’s post-WWII development.

Keywords: City size distribution; Historical shocks; Local development; Aggregate effects (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N9 O1 R1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-geo, nep-his and nep-ure
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Handle: RePEc:trn:utwprg:2019/15