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Dynamics of export specialization in the regions of the Italian Mezzogiorno: persistence and change

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During the 1980s and 1990s the Italian southern economy displayed signs of transformation in production and export structures, accompanied by sharp geographical differentiation. Debate on these changes, mainly spurred by growing international pressure, has given rise to different views and expectations on the opportunities for endogenous growth on the Italian periphery. The aim of this paper is to contribute to this ongoing debate by looking at the evolution of sectoral export specialization patterns - i.e. relative comparative advantage structures - in the Mezzogiorno regions in the period 1985-2000, focusing on inter-provincial comparisons. The analysis concentrates on the extent of persistence versus change in the evolution of provincial specialization patterns, shedding light on the relationship between export structure and performance, and on the extent of intra-regional differentiation.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27524/

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