This paper tests for the existence of neoclassical and/or technological catching up across Italian
regions in the last three decades. The test is performed making use of a model based on the decomposition
of output growth, similar to that proposed by Dowrick - Rogers (2002). The results imply
that while the neoclassical convergence mechanism has occurred, the technological mechanism has
failed. A possible explanation of the evidence found is that the regions initially endowed with better
technology were subsequently characterised by a greater number of innovations and a higher share
of GPD spent on research expenditure, which enabled them to maintain a substantial technological
gap. These results suggest the policy conclusion that complete convergence across Italian regions requires
the promotion of technological transfers and an increase in R&D expenditure in the least developed
After reviewing the novel aspects characterising the last four population censuses and how researchers
have exploited their results, we present some thoughts about the 2011 Italian population
census. Whilst calling for more accurate and accessible contents and results of the survey, we focus
our attention on the rather controversial issue regarding the procedure and mode of data acquisition.
Do we need to confirm the traditional (universal and simultaneous) survey, or can we try new procedures,
even if this means to combine information from administrative registries and surveys? This is
a dilemma that calls for an accurate evaluation of the advantages and drawbacks related to the different
hypothesis in each of the two cases. The experiences of 1991 and 2001, which included surveys
of foreigners and the temporary residents, demonstrated that results do not always follow the effort
and reflect the expectations. Innovations are welcome, but only if they do not compromise the quality
and details of the census information gathered.
In this paper we propose a decomposition of the Foster, Greer, Thorbecke (FGT) class of poverty indices into two components (namely, poverty within groups and poverty between groups) when both a community-wide threshold and a specific poverty line for each subgroup of population is used. The aim is to suggest an integrated perspective that takes into account both poverty within a specific subgroup of the population and poverty between different subgroups. This allows us to throw light on the relative well-being conditions of specific subgroups of the population as well as of society as a whole. The paper also includes an empirical application of the suggested methodology based on the European Community Household Panel.
In its present formulation the Human Development Index (HDI) is a measure of the well-being
of nations considering two fixed reference values for each indicator, the so-called fixed goals of development,
as normalization parameters. As is well known, the HDI is insensitive to the relative performance
of a country with respect to those of a reference group of nations. Nevertheless, several recent
works on individuals’ perception of their well-being reveal that subjective well-being is positively
correlated with upward mobility opportunities and negatively correlated with the persistency
of well-being inequalities within a reference group. Therefore, in this paper, we suggest an easy-tohandle
extension of the HDI aimed at integrating the «absolute» perspective implicit in the traditional
index with a relative one. Finally, as an application of our index, we assess the well-being of
nations in the EU.
In this paper we generalize the result obtained by Mehlum (2005) by deriving an explicit solution
for the path within a Ramsey model with fixed-proportion technology, CIES utility function
and logistic-type population growth.
The presence of multiple sellers in the provision of (non-substitutable) complementary goods
leads to outcomes that are worse than those generated by an integrated monopoly, a problem also
known as the «tragedy of the anticommons». In this paper we identify some conditions under which
the tragedy is resolved and under which a complementary oligopoly is preferable to a multiproduct
monopoly. First, we introduce several substitutes for each complement and determine their minimum
number for the result to hold. Second, we study asymmetric complementarity and the presence of
essential goods, stressing the role of the degree of differentiation across substitutes for the persistence
of the «double mark-up» problem. Third, we verify whether the inefficiency result holds in dynamic
terms, discussing the adoption of new technological standards in complementary oligopolies.
The focus will be on indirect network externalities, checking under which conditions an inefficient
standard emerges or the market becomes «locked in» in an old standard.