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875. The Italian coal shortage: the price of import and distribution, 1861-1911

Working Paper n. 875 - Marzo 2022

Vania Licio

DEPS - University of Siena and CRENoS


This paper estimates a measure of coal price for all NUTS3 Italian provinces between 1861 and 1911. Italy was a latecomer country and its late industrialization was characterized by the absence of coal in a time where the steam engine powered factory work. The new variable accounts for the main input factor of the manufacturing production during that period in which the Italian economy registered a long-term growth of GDP and an increase in its industrial activity. The infrastructural scarcity and the uneven water endowment, that still today rule the di erences between northern and southern Italy, were responsible for the di erent weight the price of coal had across the country


Coal; Italy; Provinces; Railways; Infrastructure; Transport costs

Jel Codes

N13, N53, N73, N93, O13, Q41