Giovanni Favero

The Statistics of Industrial Wages under Fascism

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract


This article focuses on the uses and reliability of the available statistical series on Italian industrial wages from the early 1920s to the Second World War. It provides a summary of the methodological debate on the series provided by the National Fund for Industrial Accidents (INAIL) and an analysis of the political issues at the stake and of the role played by Giorgio Mortara and Corrado Gini. This puts into a sharper focus the contribution of Gini, the first President of the Italian Central Statistical Institute (ISTAT), in the construction of a new official Index of Industrial Wages based on the concatenation of the alternative series provided by the Manufacturers' Association (Confindustria) after 1928. In retrospect, the Index is a source of crucial importance to assess the effects of the political fixing of wages in the Fascist corporatist regime. The problems raised by the concatenation led to a revision of the index in 1938, co-ordinated by Benedetto Barberi. The article expands on the post-war historical debate, which has mainly focused on the motivations of this revision, by using new qualitative evidence that has recently emerged. Finally, the article reconstructs the Confindustria wage series weighted by industry and proposes a different concatenated index as a tool to test the reliability of these data.

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