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A Freeway to Prosperity? Evidence from Calabria, South of Italy

Emanuele Ciani (), Guido de Blasio () and Samuele Poy ()

Department of Economics University of Siena from Department of Economics, University of Siena

Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of the freeway “Salerno-Reggio Calabria” on long-term local economic development. Built between 1962 and 1974, the freeway connected the southernmost region of the Italian peninsula (Calabria) to the national highway network. According to the original plan, the freeway could have been built along three different routes. The final choice was mostly influenced by powerful politicians who lobbied in favor of the path crossing their constituency (the town of Cosenza). In a dif-in-dif framework, we compare the growth of “inconsequentially” treated municipalities – traversed only because they lie on the route connecting Cosenza – with the one of municipalities on the two discarded paths. Our results suggest that the freeway caused a significant reorganization of both economic activity and population from untreated to treated locations. At the same time, the infrastructure does not seem to have helped the convergence of the overall region

Keywords: highways; transport infrastructure; local development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H54 R12 R42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur, nep-geo, nep-gro, nep-his, nep-tre and nep-ure
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