The effects of aid policies for the Southern regions (1998)

Fifty years have passed since the launch of the extraordinary intervention policy in favour of the Southern regions. And yet, many of the problems of the Mezzogiorno remain unresolved. However, in recent years, with the emergence of political and social forces that have questioned the legitimacy of the funds allocated to the Southern regions, there has been a shift from a phase in which the problem of the South seemed to have been forgotten to another in which these transfers have been criticised for being among the leading causes of the imbalances in Italian public finance. The apparent consequence of this approach is that any policy to rebalance the public budget must first be based on the drastic cut in transfers to the South.

The end of the extraordinary intervention policy (May 1993) has left the South in a phase of complete transition. On the one hand, it is impossible not to note the considerable progress achieved by the Southern regions. On the other hand, however, it is clear that the gap between North and South – which had significantly decreased in the period 1960-1975 – has been growing again for more than a decade.


Chapter 1 – The widening gap between North and South
1.1 – The crisis of the southern economy
1.2 – The failure of the southern policy
1.3 – The decrease in investments and the growth of transfers

Chapter 2 – The role of the South as a market for the enterprises of the Centre-North

Chapter 3 – The distribution of public expenditure and tax burden between North and South
3.1 – The distribution of public expenditure among Italian regions
3.2 – The influence of interest on public debt on the regional distribution of public expenditure 3.3 – An over-assisted South?
3.4 – The regional distribution of the tax burden

Chapter 4 – The role of the credit market
4.1 – The differences in the structure of the credit market between North and South
4.2 – The interest rate gap between the two areas of the country

Chapter 5 – A social emergency: unemployment
5.1 – The current situation
5.2 – The different interpretative models of southern unemployment

Summary Document

The development of the South of Italy and the North-South gap: an open question

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