Gabriele Cappelli

Gabriele Cappelli
Università degli Studi di Siena | UNISI · Department of Economics and Statistics

PhD European University Institute

About

23
Publications
5,803
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148
Citations
Introduction
I am an economic historian working as an Associate Professor at the University of Siena. My research explores the determinants of long-term human capital accumulation and the diffusion of mass education, regional economic development, and the relationship between institutions and economic growth in the long run. Before, I worked at the University of Tübingen, at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and at the Universitat de Barcelona. I also currently lecture at the LUISS School of Governance
Additional affiliations
September 2017 - September 2017
LUISS Guido Carli, Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali
Position
  • Lecturer
October 2015 - February 2016
University of Tuebingen
Position
  • Professor
September 2015 - present
University of Tuebingen
Position
  • Professor
Education
December 2008 - September 2010
Università degli Studi di Siena
Field of study
  • Economics

Publications

Publications (23)
Preprint
Full-text available
By relying on the relative number of boys per hundred girls as a cumulative measure of differential mortality during birth, infancy and childhood, this paper shows that Italian average child sex ratios (aged 0-4) were very high between 1861 and 1921. Our estimations indicate that unexplained female mortality could have resulted in around 2-3 per ce...
Article
Full-text available
A correction to this paper to make it open access has been published: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11698-021-00227-4
Article
Full-text available
This article provides the first harmonized quantitative evidence on the rise of mass education across the provinces (today's NUTS 3) of Italy and Spain in the period c. 1861–1921. Visual analysis of this new dataset suggests that an important factor linked to the expansion of schooling was the feminization of the teaching profession, something that...
Article
Full-text available
Historical evidence of numeracy on the African continent since the 18th century is presented for the first time based on a panel dataset of 43 African countries covering the periods before, during and after colonialism (1730–1970). Estimates of numeracy draw on the age-heaping methodology: we carefully discuss the potential biases and sources of me...
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores the evolution of the human capital gender gap in Liberal Italy (1871 – 1921). First, we show that Italy lagged some 50 years behind more advanced countries like France, Prussia and the UK, and that the regional divide in gendered literacy was unparalleled in the rest of Europe. Next, we test whether the shift to primary-school c...
Article
This paper explores regional convergence in schooling in France and Italy under decentralized primary education, that is, in the long 19th century. A new, preliminary harmonized dataset on schooling is presented, including figures on Primary Gross Enrolment Ratios, aggregate municipal expenditure per school-age child and state subsidies across Fren...
Book
This edited collection explores the historical determinants of the rise of mass schooling and human capital accumulation based on a global, long-run perspective, focusing on a variety of countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the Americas. The authors analyze the increasing importance attached to globalization as a factor in how soc...
Chapter
This chapter outlines the relationship between globalization and education by presenting several potential factors linking the two aspects. First, existing evidence on the evolution of national school systems is presented. Secondly, an interpretative framework to connect global socioeconomic and political forces with local and national educational...
Article
This article examines to what extent labour productivity, structural change, participation rates and the age structure of the population contributed to Italy’s regional economic inequality over the long run (1871-2011). First, regional inequality in per capita GDP is split into labour productivity and the activity rate. Then, the Caselli- Tenreyro...
Article
This paper shows that a shift towards a more centralized school system can benefit countries characterized by poor levels of human capital and large regional disparities in education. In 1911, Italy moved from a fully decentralized primary-school system towards centralisation through the Daneo-Credaro Reform. The Reform design allows us to compare...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper shows how historical institutions, inherited from pre-unification regional states, cast a long shadow on the evolution of literacy across the provinces of Liberal Italy (1871-1911). Although increasing local inputs into public primary schooling were associated with higher literacy, pre-unification schooling is found to be a crucial predi...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we present a comparative analysis of regional differences in Italy and Sweden in the late 19th century. Using both quantitative and qualitative evidence, our comparison indicates how the character of these regional inequalities differed, despite the decentralized nature of schooling in both of these countries. As a result, this art...
Chapter
This chapter investigates the impact of the Casati Law (1859) on the development of Italy’s national school system before the Fascist era (1861–1922). Unified Italy inherited large regional education disparities: literacy rates among children ranged from 60 percent in the northwest to 10 percent in the south. The Casati Law aimed to provide for a u...
Article
Full-text available
This article is the first study to explore to what extent labour productivity, structural change, participation rates and the age structure of the population contributed to the pattern of Italy’s regional economic inequality over the long run (1871-2011). We provide brand new regional estimates of participation rates and age structures, as well as...
Article
Full-text available
This paper challenges the view that social capital is persistent and mainly determined by historical accidents. New estimates of social capital across Italy's 69 provinces are provided for the Liberal Age (1871-1911). The analysis shows that historical legacies may affect social capital developments, but their role is downplayed once contemporary s...
Article
Full-text available
We trace the development of human capital in today’s Senegal, Gambia, and Western Mali between 1770 and 1900. European trade, slavery and early colonialism were linked to human capital formation, but this connection appears to have been heterogeneous. The contact with the Atlantic slave trade increased regional divergence, as the coast of Senegambi...
Article
Despite recent research on the link between social capital and economic growth, the impact of social norms on the first phase of Italy’s regional economic divergence remains under researched. This paper fills the gap by drawing on a framework based on sociology, economics and economic history. By following a multi-faceted definition of social capit...
Working Paper
Full-text available
How did colonialism interact with the development of human capital in Africa? We create an innovative panel dataset on numeracy across African countries before, during and after the Scramble for Africa (1730 – 1970) by drawing on new sources and by carefully assessing potential selection bias. The econometric evidence that we provide, based on OLS,...
Article
Full-text available
The role played by public policy in the development of Italy's human capital in the late nineteenth century and the Interwar period has long remained unexplored by quantitative economic history. This article explores whether a system of decentralized primary education slowed down regional convergence in schooling, since poor and backward areas coul...
Article
Full-text available
Italy’s regions experienced different rates of human capital accumulation in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Although southern regions were very disadvantaged when the unification of the country took place in 1861, they caught up at a very slow pace—and a remarkable regional divide in education persisted until the interwar period...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
The project explores the links connecting literacy and inputs into primary schooling, the determinants of education and primary-school policy across Italy's NUTS-2 and NUTS-3 regions from c. 1861 to 1941. New aspects being assessed include school efficiency at the local level and a novel dataset on schooling at the municipal level (1911 - 1931).
Project
This project builds upon the historical and economic-historical research that has examined how and why such differences arose in school systems during the 1800s and early 1900s. Through a combination of international comparative econometric studies and local case studies we will explore the mechanisms that stimulated or hindered the expansion of mass schooling, c. 1840 - 1940. Our multifaceted approach constitutes an important step forward, and a remarkable novelty that will be able to provide conclusive contributions to the study of the international development of schooling and its social, economic and cultural conditions.