Foundations of modern economic development in N.E. Italy.
This thesis examines the foundations of successful
modern economic development in the European region of N.E
Italy. The research explores the importance and role of a
combination of urban and transport infrastructure, economic,
social and institutional arrangements. These have been
conducive for the development of a competitive entrepreneurled
endogenous development model which has enabled N.E Italy
to become one of the most successful, fastest growing exportoriented
economies of the European Union in the 1990s.
The approach adopted is interdisciplinary and examines
theoretically and empirically a wide range of interrelated
economic development issues across different spheres of the
social sciences. These include infrastructure; entrepreneurship;
culture; cooperation and competition; networking and
information diffusion; E.U support to small and medium size
enterprises; as well as regional economic interaction with
Central and Eastern Europe.
The thesis has a four part structure. Following an
introduction and methodological chapter, Part I examines the
geography and socio-economic development of N.E Italy ir. the
fifty year post-WWII period (1945-1995). From this overview,
possible key determinants of the region I s development are
r..ighl ighted. These factors, which represent the main boc:;· of
t~e research, are specifically examined i~ par~s II and I:I.
Part II dedicates two chapters to set~lement / transport
infrastructure and entrepreneurship, whilst Part III sr..ifts
atten~ion to some external factors which interact witt the
internal determinants of development. T, .. ·o chapters focus on
European Union business facili ta~ing mechanisms and the
opening up of Central and Eastern Europe respectively. They
provide a different perspective on central issues of this
research and a means of empirically assessing the validity of
many assumptions of this thesis.
Part IV synthesises and concludes the thesis. The
evidence of this research indicates that some of the same
factors which promoted and sustained the development
trajectory of this successful economy, will, most probably,
continue to provide it with comparative advantages in the