Railways and Economic Growth in Mediterranean Countries: Some Methodological Remarks
The complaint that ‘these Italian trains go at about the rate of an American funeral’ must have been rather common in the 1870s and 1880s when comtemporaries often criticised the Italian railway network for widespread inefficiency combined with high rates both for passengers and freight (1). As late as the early 1900s it was apparently more convenient to deliver goods by wagon rather than by rail up to distances of about one hundred and twenty miles (2). Almost any town in central or southern Italy is within that distance from a good seaport. Even in the Po Valley, rivers and canals could offer a viable alternative to railways.
KeywordsSocial Rate Supply Elasticity Domestic Saving Total Labour Force Supply Side Effect
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Notes and References
- 1.H. James, The Portrait of a Lady (London, 1978) p. 327.Google Scholar
- 2.G. Baglioni, ‘Per la riforma ferroviaria’, ‘Critica Sociale’, 1910.Google Scholar
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- 7.S. Fenoaltea, ‘Railroads and Italian Industrial Growth, 1861–1913’, Explorations in Economic History, vol. IX (Summer 1972) pp. 327–8. Consistent with this view of infinite factor supply elasticity, Fenoaltea considers ‘supply side effects (as) negligible’ and carries on his analysis on lines other than ‘social savings’.Google Scholar
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