(Re-)exploring the link between decentralization and regional disparities in Italy

Gianpiero Torrisi, Andy Pike, John Tomaney, Vassilis Tselios

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Previous research has suggested that after 1996 devolution caused a reduction in regional disparities in Italy. However the analysis presented here suggests that the decline in regional disparities in Italy between 1996 and 2006 was driven by population dynamics and, to some extent, by the loss of competitiveness and consequent poor relative performance of northern regions. We conclude that links between devolution and the reduction of spatial disparities is unproven and its benefits are temporally and geographically uneven.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-139
JournalRegional Studies, Regional Science
Issue number1
Early online date9 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • economic dividend
  • devolution
  • spatial disparities
  • spatial economic policy
  • decentralization
  • Italy


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