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Title:Foreign trade and economic expansion in Italy, 1951-1990
Author(s):de Paula, Marcelo Assis
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Baer, Werner W.
Department / Program:Economics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):History, European
Economics, General
Economics, Commerce-Business
Abstract:This research explores the relationship between economic growth and trade sector performance in the context of the Italian experience over the post-Second World War period. In order to address the effects of external sector growth on Italy's pattern of industrialization and its overall economic growth and development, the focus of the analysis is directed towards the evolution of the trade commodity structure. The performance of the Italian trade sector is analyzed by a disaggregated approach to the country's trade sector based upon a commodity breakdown of the trade balance into twenty categories of tradeable goods. This procedure allows a thorough look at changes in competitiveness and product specialization experienced by the external sector over the postwar years. In addition, changes in the commodity structure of trade provide some evidence of how the allocation of domestic resources responds to external conditions. Italy's overall economic growth is also described from the perspective of the trade sector performance.
The role of the external sector in the process of economic expansion is also addressed in a theoretical framework. The basis of the theoretical model proposed in this research lies in the simple structures behind most neoclassical theories of economic growth. Export-led growth is approached from its supply side effects on the productive capacity of the economy. As a result, export expansion is associated with a faster increase in the factors of production available in the economic system. Gains in competitiveness depend on the ability of export growth to accelerate technological improvements in the domestic economy. In this sense, the virtuous circle between international trade and domestic growth is determined, in the long run, by technological levels rather than other variables. The proposed model also incorporates a balance of payments equilibrium condition into the analysis. The balance of payments condition ensures that once the system reaches the steady state and is stable, there will not be a possibility that the growth process will be halted by difficulties in the external accounts.
Issue Date:1993
Rights Information:Copyright 1993 de Paula, Marcelo Assis
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9329009
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9329009

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