Stefano Cecini

Financing public works in Italy: a comparison between Liberal and Fascist periods

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The leit-motif of the Fascist propaganda in the matter of public works was the alleged fact the Fascist regime was able of a greater spending capacity compared to the previous Liberal governments. The aim of this paper is to measure the economic commitment of the Fascist regime in terms of public works and verify the alleged higher public expenditure during the Fascist period. Based on the statement of expenses at the Ministry of Economy and Finance a time series has been designed. The period taken into account ranges from 1st January 1871 to 30th June 1940. The time series analysis shows that between 1926 and 1940 the public works expenditure was the highest (in absolute terms) amongst periods of equal length. However, due to the faster growth of the total public expenditure, the amount allocated to public works was significantly lower compared to the same amount during the so-called Età Giolittiana (1901-1914) and especially during the left-wing governments from 1876 to 1895.

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