Giovanni Federico

Giovanni Federico
Università di Pisa | UNIPI · Department of Economics and Management

PhD

About

91
Publications
28,166
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
1,754
Citations
Citations since 2017
10 Research Items
697 Citations
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140

Publications

Publications (91)
Article
By analyzing a new dataset of terms of trade covering the whole world during the “first globalization” (1800–1913), this article finds that trends of terms of trade varied significantly, both within the periphery and the core, and were mainly driven by import prices. Volatility declined because price spikes became less frequent and export prices be...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper investigates the causes of the traditional practice of intercropping – i.e., of scattering vines across fields rather than concentrating them in specialized vineyards. We interpret it as a risk management strategy based on spatial diversification, which entailed transportation costs. We test our model with data for 1930s Italy, where int...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter tackles the issue from a distinctive point of view. First, we adopt a truly long-term view, which we hope can enrich our understanding of more recent trends. Structural transformation started in Great Britain with the Industrial Revolution, in the USA and other European advanced countries in the early nineteenth century. In all these c...
Article
Full-text available
This paper outlines the development of world trade from 1800 to 1938. It relies on a newly compiled database, which, unlike previous works (e.g. Lewis 1981), reports series of imports and exports at current and constant prices and at current and constant (1913) borders for almost all existing polities. In the first sections, we outline the estimati...
Article
The period 1820-1870, commonly referred to as the "lost decades", is widely regarded as the key moment in the opening of the gap between Latin America and the Unites States. We test this statement with a new export series and some tentative estimates of GDP trends. The overall performance of Latin American countries was quite good, although not out...
Article
Since the seminal work by W. A. Lewis, exports of primary products have been deemed the main or sole source of growth in tropical countries before the Great Depression. However, this conventional wisdom relies on very limited evidence. This article analyses the growth of exports with a constant market share analysis for 84 tropical polities. Export...
Article
This paper compares the waves of globalization before the outbreak of the Great Recession in 2007 with its alleged historical antecedent before the outbreak of World War One. We describe trends in trade and openness, investigate the proximate causes of changes in openness and estimate the gains from trade from the early nineteenth century onwards....
Presentation
Full-text available
The slowdown of global trade growth since the Global Crisis has raised concerns across the world. This column puts recent changes into perspective by presenting evidence on the export/GDP ratio and a rough measure of the gains from trade back to 1830. It shows that the interwar period was marked by a reversal of globalisation that makes recent tren...
Data
This data compares the wave of globalization before the outbreak of the Great Recession in 2007 with its alleged historical antecedent before the outbreak of World War One. We describe trends in trade and openness, estimate the gains from trade and investigate the proximate causes of the growth of openness. We argue that the conventional wisdom has...
Data
This paper compares the wave of globalization before the outbreak of the Great Recession in 2007 with its alleged historical antecedent before the outbreak of World War One. We describe trends in trade and openness, estimate the gains from trade and investigate the proximate causes of the growth of openness. We argue that the conventional wisdom ha...
Presentation
Full-text available
World trade, 1800-2015 Giovanni Federico, Antonio Tena-Junguito 07 February 2016 Parallels are often drawn between the Great Recession of the past decade and the economic turmoil of the interwar period. In terms of global trade, these comparisons are based on obsolete and incomplete data. This column re-estimates world trade since the beginning of...
Article
The impact of protection on economic growth has enjoyed a revival in recent times, with the publication of a number of comparative quantitative papers. They all share a common weakness: they measure protection as the ratio of custom revenues to import value, which biases results if demand for imports is not perfectly inelastic. In this paper, we sh...
Research
Full-text available
Gender roles in the past may affect current perceptions of the 'rightful' place of women in the society, with potential major consequences on economic development. This paper explores the historical roots of gender roles by focusing on female work in agriculture, which accounted for most employment in traditional societies. We rely on a newly compi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper describes the construction of the database underlying our estimate of world trade 1800-1938. It consists of series of imports and exports, at current and constant (1913) prices, and at current and at constant (1913) borders for 149 polities. We review the available series, discuss the criteria for inclusion of polities in the data-set an...
Chapter
Since 1750, the world has become ever more connected, with processes of production and destruction no longer limited by land- or water-based modes of transport and communication. Volume 7 of The Cambridge World History, divided into two books, offers a variety of angles of vision on the increasingly interconnected history of humankind. The first bo...
Article
This paper contributes to the debate on globalization and the great divergence with a comprehensive analysis of the integration of Asia in the world market from 1800 to the eve of World War Two. We examine the patterns of convergence in prices for a wide range of commodities between Europe and the main Asian countries (India, Indonesia, Japan and C...
Article
Full-text available
The conventional wisdom about the early stages of modern economic growth in Italy is still heavily influenced by Cafagna in his book Dualismo e sviluppo nella storia d'Italia (Padova: Marsilio 1989). He argued that the exports of primary products to industrializing North-Western countries were the main source of growth and that exports of silk stim...
Article
Full-text available
This paper contributes to the debate on globalization and the great divergence with a comprehensive analysis of trends, causes and effects of the integration of Asia in the world market from 1800 to the eve of World War Two, based on a newly compiled data-set. The analysis finds that: most price convergence occurred before 1870, with only little di...
Article
The literature on commodity market integration has boomed in the last 15 years, and a sort of consensus is slowly emerging, at least with regard to trends in the last two centuries. This article argues that this consensus is fragile because the research is haunted by serious methodological shortcomings. The results are not really comparable because...
Article
Duties on wheat were the mainstay of trade policy in Europe in the first half of the nineteenth century. This paper documents the changes in policy of seven wheat-importing countries of Western Europe and interprets them with a political support model. All these countries raised duties after the end of French wars to protect the dominating landed i...
Article
The growth of the Italian economy over the past 150 years since unification was accompanied by a dramatic increase in the country's integration with European and global commodity markets: foreign trade in the long run grew on average faster than the overall economy. Behind the dynamics of aggregate trade, Italy's comparative advantage changed funda...
Article
Introduction Agriculture has been the main source of livelihood for the overwhelming majority of the world’s population for thousands of years, from the first production of crops some 8,000 years ago to the start of worldwide industrialization in the nineteenth century. At the dawn of agricultural civilization, farms were self-sufficient production...
Article
The history of Italy since her unification in 1861 reflects the two-way relationship between foreign trade and economic development. Its growth was accompanied by a dramatic increase in the country's integration with European and global commodity markets: foreign trade in the long run grew on average faster than the overall economy. Behind the dyna...
Article
La seta in Italia dal Medioevo al Seicento: dal baco al drappo [Silk in Italy from the Middle Ages to the Seventeenth Century: From Silkworm to Cloth]. Edited byMolàLuca, MuellerReinhold C., andZanierClaudio. Venice: Marsilio, 2000. xiv + 568 pp. Illustrations. Cloth, 80,000 lire (U.S. $37.50). ISBN 8-831-77442-5. - Volume 75 Issue 3 - Giovanni Fed...
Article
We investigate the costs of transportation regulation using the example of agricultural markets in the United States. Using a large database of prices by state of agricultural commodities, we find that the coefficient of variation (as a measure of market integration between states) falls for many commodities until the First World War. We demonstrat...
Article
We examine the relationships between warfare, taxation, and political change in the context of the political unification of the Italian peninsula. Using a comprehensive new database, we argue that external and internal threat environments had significant implications for the demand for military strength, which in turn had important ramifications fo...
Article
This article argues that market integration should be measured as σ-convergence over the largest possible sample of markets. Its focus is the European market for wheat, rye and candles from the middle of the eighteenth century to the eve of the first globalization. Price dispersion for cereals remained constant until the outbreak of the French Wars...
Article
The specialization in exporting primary products is frequently deemed harmful for long-run development, because it increases volatility of terms of trade and thus the number and frequency of macroeconomic shocks. One would expect modern economic growth to solve the problem by changing the composition of trade. This paper tests this hypothesis with...
Article
After the end of Napoleonic Wars, the Italian peninsula was divided into eight independent states, plus the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia, by then formally independent but belonging to the Austrian-Hungarian emperor. All these states but one, the Kingdom of Sardinia (which, in spite of its name, consisted mainly of Piedmont), pursued very conservativ...
Article
Full-text available
This work questions Morgenstern's pessimistic results on the reliability of aggregate international foreign trade statistics: His comparisons using pairs of countries can only test the misclassification of a country's trade flow. Aggregation, by contrast, eliminates this problem. Therefore, testing the total value of imports and exports with the su...
Chapter
One can sum up the results in seven stylized facts: heavy industries have grown more than manufacturing as a whole; the capital per worker has increased a great deal, but has left behind a sub-stantial number of small non-mechanized workshops; the average size of productive units has declined; employment has concentrated in small and medium-size un...
Article
Economists often assume that agricultural markets in history were competitive, and all producers received the same price. In contrast, most agricultural historians deem prices to differ among agents, according to their social status and «power». This paper tests these opposite views with a database of some 12,500 transactions for the São Paulo area...
Article
This paper uses time-series evidence on construction movements to examine the convergence of regional business cycles in the decades that followed Italy’s unification. The aggregate series point to cyclical convergence, but a sector-level analysis traces this result to the decline in differentiated “regional-policy” shocks. The regional market cycl...
Article
Full-text available
In the last two centuries, agriculture has been an outstanding, if somewhat neglected, success story. It has fed an ever-growing population with an increasing variety of products at falling prices, even as it has released a growing number of workers to the rest of the economy. This book, a comprehensive history of world agriculture during this peri...
Article
Full-text available
The conventional wisdom used to consider agricultural backwardness as one of the main causes of the North-South gap. In recent years, historians have contested this view. This paper supplies the first estimates of Total Factor Productivity in 1911, with an extrapolation to the whole period 1891-1951. The productivity was higher in the North, and th...
Article
Full-text available
Most of the literature on sharecropping deals with the reasons for the adoption of an allegedly irrational contract. Empirical testing of theoretical hypotheses is comparatively under-developed and the data on the worldwide diffusion of sharecropping are very scarce. This article argues that sharecropping is much less common than is sometimes assum...
Article
Full-text available
This paper aims at measuring as precisely as possible the changes in the level of protection in Italy from the 1870s to the 1920s i.e. during the first phase of the country s industrialisation. It shows that, contrary to conventional wisdom, protection was quite low with the possible exception of a short spell of time in the late 1880s 90s. Therefo...
Article
Agricultural distress in the 1920s is routinely quoted among the causes of the Great Depression. This article challenges the conventional wisdom. World agriculture was not plagued by overproduction and falling terms of trade. The indebtedness of American farmers, a legacy of the boom years 1918 1921, did jeopardize the rural banks, but the relation...
Article
After the pioneering work by Luciano Cafagna, most Italian economic historians assume that silk industry has played a major role in modern economic growth in Italy. This article deals systematically with the different meanings of this statement. Silk helped to kick-start the growth in Lombardy in the first half of the 19th century, while its macroe...
Article
This article estimates agricultural production and output per worker in Italy, from about the year 1000 to the present. The millennium may be divided neatly into three periods. Output per worker increased until the fourteenth century, declined, with some fluctuations, until the end of the nineteenth century, and then recovered, booming in the past...
Article
World population has increased six-fold in the last two centuries, and thus agricultural production must have grown as well. The last fifty years of this increase are covered by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) production series. This article aims to push our quantitative knowledge back in time as far as possible. It reviews the scattere...
Article
The height of Italian conscripts was increasing throughout the second half of the 19th century due primarily to an increases in food intake, but also to an improvement in sanitary conditions, and diffusion of primary schooling. The increase in food intake reflects a growth in agricultural production, contrary to the standard series of national acco...
Article
The Italian agriculture in the 19th century enjoyed a quite poor reputation among historians, for its innovative record. This article deals with a possible counterexample, the wide diffusion of steam threshing since the 1870s. It was a highly capital-intensive machine, and thus its success seems to contrast with the scarcity of capital, which plagu...
Article
Everyone in the profession knows Angus Maddison. He has written dozens of books and articles on a myriad of issues, and, above all, three books (Maddison 1982, 1991 and 1995) which rank among the major modern interpretations of long-term economic growth. His books, however, stand out even within this literature because of their Statistical Appendic...
Book
This volume in the New Studies in Economic and Social History series examines Italy’s transformation from a largely rural state in the nineteenth century to today’s industrial powerhouse. At the time of unification in 1861, much of the country was backward, poor, and agrarian: few would have believed that a hundred years later Italy would become on...
Article
L'articolo illustra in dettaglio i metodi di ricostruzione di una cosiddetta Social Account Matrix (SAM) per il 1911, che gli autori hanno utilizzato per analizzare gli effetti della politica doganale italiana. L'economia italiana è divisa in nove settori. Per ciascuno di essi si stimano le principali grandezze macroeconomiche (produzione, utilizza...
Article
Full-text available
A simple look at nominal or effective tariff rates is not sufficient to analyse the trade policy. One has to consider the overall effects of protection, and by definition this requires a general equilibrium approach. The present paper aims to fill this gap in the literature. It makes use of a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model of the Italia...
Book
An Economic History of the Silk Industry, 1830–1930, first published in 1997, is an ambitious historical analysis of the development of a major commodity. Dr Federico examines the rapid growth of the world silk industry from the early nineteenth century to the eve of the Great Depression of the 1930s. Silk production grew as a result of Western ind...
Article
Italy's colonial history is better known for its failures (notably the battle of Adwa, the major defeat of a Western power by an African army in the 19th century) than for its achievements. Italy succeeded in conquering a substantial «empire» only in the 20th century, when the traditional colonial powers were already in retreat1. But this has not a...
Article
Computable general equilibrium (CGE)models require both theory and data. The theory underlying our model is standard general equilibrium theory, and details will be provided elsewhere. The sole purpose of this paper is to present in detail the data used to calibrate this model. We have constructed a basic social accounting matrix for Italy in 1911;...
Article
The paper presents and estimates an econometric model of world silk production from 1870 to 1913, which takes into account the world demand and the supply of the three main exporters—Italy, China, and Japan. The demand curve increased as much as the income of the “core” countries did, and the performance of the producing countries was on the whole...
Article
Conventional wisdom concerning Italian industry does not fit well into the general scheme of the Second Industrial Revolution as constituted by the growth and diffusion of large-size enterprises. This wisdom held that Italian industry was dominated by a small group of large enterprises as a direct consequence of the country's backwardness. These en...
Article
Full-text available
RESUMEN Este ensayo analiza la historiografía del crecimiento económico italiano moderno, distinguiendo entre los enfoques que consideran a Italia como un caso más en el proceso general de industrialización europea y aquellos que identifican unas características específicas y únicas del caso italiano. Se pasa revista también en este trabajo a los i...
Article
Full-text available
This work questions Morgenstern's pessimistic results on the reliability of aggregate international foreign trade statistics: His comparisons using pairs of countries can only test the misclassification of a country's trade flow. Aggregation, by contrast, eliminates this problem. Therefore, testing the total value of imports and exports with the su...
Article
Full-text available
Long-range market integration is an essential component of globalization but it is still comparatively under-researched. The conventional wisdom relies heavily on the case of Atlantic trade in the period after 1870. This paper covers also the Indian Ocean and extends the period under consideration, from Waterloo to World War Two. Integration starte...
Article
Full-text available
Trade policy, and its effects oftariffs on structural change and industrialization, is arguably the 1110st contentious topic in Italian economic history. However, so far the discussion has relied almost exclusively on few scattered data and anecdotal evidence. This article builds on a comprehensive data-base of nominal and effective protection rate...
Article
This paper argues that the conventional view which sees international transport costs reductions as the major force in price convergence cannot be upheld when the period under scrutiny is extended to the last two centuries. Domestic transport costs fell for land-locked regions while real international transport costs fluctuated strongly without exh...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (2)
Project
The main objective of this project is to analize the effects of trade and financial globalization on poor colonial and non colonial economies of Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa during the period 1820-1950. This long period provides a natural laboratory to observe the consequences of trade, financial integration and disintegration on the relative performance of the peripheries. A first contribution will be to provide fresh empirical evidence on the process of trade and financial integration and disintegration of the poor economies. A second contribution, to offer the comparative performance of the peripheries according to different Institutions. Some slave plantation economies persisted until the end of the 19th century, against the emancipated plantation colonies or the political independent poor countries. A Third contribution will be to revise Artur Lewis optimistic view about competitiveness of the tropical economies based in a “constant market share” analysis. A fourth contribution will be for the early period between 1820 and 1870, which in the case of Latina American has generated a widespread debate about the its relative performance during the so-called „lost decades“. Last but not least contribution will be to measure the effects of globalization during the years 1870-1914 and disintegration during the interwar years in the peripheral economies. The recent literature espouses mixed views, weighing the positive effects of access to international capital, technology transfers and specialization, on one hand, against the negative effects of deindustrialization and higher price and financial volatility. Problems created by their integration in the international monetary system and the high barriers to trade and capital flows created by poor sovereign countries represent one peculiarity of the behavior of such economies as compared to core economies during the period of integration and disintegration of the international economy. The project is supported by three new data bases covering all countries of the global economy, with a special effort to include poor countries of east and south Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. The first one reconstructs annual series of trade (value and volume), exports and imports price indices, and exchange rates for the period 1820-1940. The second one is concerned with the matrix of bilateral trade of a large sample of countries in the same period. The third one reconstructs the structure of industrial tariffs, freight costs, various indicators of foreign investment and capital flows. The project will move from a systematic study of robsutness of such data bases, and will make originalr esearch contributions in three complementary research areas, with special emphasis on the relative performance of poor economies in the process of globalization: 1 Global and regional determinants of trade integration 2 Synergies between trade and financial globalization 3 Globalization and growth in peripheral economies