«When We Were Worse Off». The Economy, Living Standards and Inequality in Fascist Italy
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This paper offers a critical survey of the recent quantitative economic history literature on the evolution of the Italian economy under fascism. The new evidence on GDP and industrial output validates the rejection of classic interpretations of «fascism as stagnation», highlighting factors of continuity in the long-run process of industrialization and development. The evidence on wages, economic wellbeing and inequality (including some estimates of gender gaps), however, suggests a discontinuity with the «benevolence» of the liberal period, and the ineffectiveness of the fascist welfare state. New research is needed to further develop our understanding of the effects of specific policies.
- Fascist Italy
- economic inequality
- economic wellbeing
- welfare state