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856. Gimme Shelter. Public Housing Programs and Industrialization. The INA-Casa plan, Italy

Working Papers n.856 - Giugno 2021

Alberto Dalmazzo

DEPS, USiena

Guido de Blasio

Bank of Italy, Structural Economic Analysis Directorate, Roma

Samuele Poy

University of Piemonte Orientale, Dept. of Economics and Business Studies


We model the impact of public housing supply on local development by using a spatial equilibrium model with a “share-altering” technological shift from agriculture to manufacturing. The model shows that a larger local availability of houses triggers greater population growth and, consequently, industrialization. It also suggests that these effects are stronger in places that exhibited, prior to the public housing plan, relatively higher population density. These implications are broadly confirmed by an empirical evaluation of the INA-Casa plan, a program implemented by the Italian government in the aftermath of WWII.


Housing policy, urbanization, industrialization

Jel Codes

O14, R11.