The Political Economy of Italy's Decline (Hardback)
  • The Political Economy of Italy's Decline (Hardback)
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The Political Economy of Italy's Decline (Hardback)

(author)
£55.00
Hardback 304 Pages / Published: 19/04/2018
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Italy is a country of recent decline and long-standing idiosyncratic traits. A rich society served by an advanced manufacturing economy, where the rule of law is weak and political accountability low, it has long been in downward spiral alimented by corruption and clientelism. From this spiral has emerged an equilibrium as consistent as it is inefficient, that raises serious obstacles to economic and democratic development. The Political Economy of Italy's Decline explains the causes of Italy's downward trajectory, and explains how the country can shift to a fairer and more efficient system. Analysing both political economic literature and the history of Italy from 1861 onwards, The Political Economy of Italy's Decline argues that the deeper roots of the decline lie in the political economy of growth. It places emphasis on the country's convergence to the productivity frontier and the evolution of its social order and institutions to illuminate the origins and evolution of the current constraints to growth, using institutional economics and Schumpeterian growth theory to support its findings. It analyses two alternative reactions to the insufficient provision of public goods: an opportunistic one - employing tax evasion, corruption, or clientelism as means to appropriate private goods -- and one based on enforcing political accountability. From the perspective of ordinary citizens and firms such social dilemmas can typically be modelled as coordination games, which have multiple equilibria. Self-interested rationality can thus lead to a spiral, in which several mutually reinforcing vicious circles lead society onto an inefficient equilibrium characterized by low political accountability and weak rule of law. The Political Economy of Italy's Decline follows the gradual setting in of this spiral as it identifys the deeper causes of Italy's decline.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198796992
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 612 g
Dimensions: 241 x 163 x 23 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Italy's relative decline is a matter of rising concern to its politicians, business leaders, citizens, and partners in Europe. In his incisive, illuminating book, Andrea Capussela analyses the factors behind Italy's decline with the forensic skills of an economist, social scientist, historian, and lawyer. * Tony Barber, Europe Editor and former Rome bureau chief of the Financial Times *
Everybody who worries about Europe should worry about Italy. Everybody who worries about Italy should read this book. * Martin Heipertz, Head of the European Policy Division, Federal Ministry of Finance, Berlin *
With elegant erudition Andrea Capussela charts Italy's post-War rise and recent decline. But the lessons are wider. For Italy in the past 70 years had to face all the problems afflicting the rest of the Western world today: the left-right split, demagogical politicians, corruption, regional inequalities, migration, terrorism, constitutional debates. It was truly the laboratory of the West now as it was in the Middle Ages, and Capussela's book draws the lessons with broad applicability. * Branko Milanovic, author of Global Inequality *
Andrea Capussela has written an excellent book. Highly documented and compellingly argued, his analysis of Italy's long-term decline is convincing (as well as disturbing for many Italians). There is much to be learned from Capussela even when disagreeing with him and challenging some of his conclusions. Most certainly a book to be read and pondered. * Gianfranco Pasquino, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Bologna *

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