Salvo Creaco

The Economic Evaluation of Public Expenditure in the Extraordinary Intervention for Southern Italy

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Starting from 1950 the extraordinary intervention for the South was the tool with which the Italian government attempted to redress the dual nature of the national economy, the same dichotomy that earlier administrative and economic measures had failed to resolve adequately. The various studies aimed at evaluating the outcome of this policy, which ended at the beginning of the 1990s, usually investigated to which extent the differences between quantitatively measurable indicators of regional imbalance diminished during the period under consideration, mainly leading to the conclusion that the South-North gap was reduced only in terms of GDP per capita, and even there the reduction was insignificant. This paper tries to contribute to an assessment of the extraordinary intervention by adopting a different perspective, examining the role that the economic evaluation of public expenditure played within the political decision-making process of this measure of regional policy.

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