Chapter 22 - Italy 1. Is Italy's postwar settlement best...

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Italy 1. Is Italy’s postwar settlement best characterized as statist or laissez-faire ? Why did Italy end up with this particular postwar settlement? What economic record followed? Statist or Laissez-faire? Why? Italy’s postwar settlement most closely resembles a statist economy. This particular postwar settlement arose from an amalgamation of the economy postwar Italy inherited, as well as current political realities at the time. Historically, heavy industry had enjoyed a close relationship to the Italian government since the end of the 19 th century. Mussolini’s militarism and autarkic goals reinforced a culture of state intervention. Politically, the major parties leading the country after World War II were either outright hostile to liberal economic principles, such as the Communists (PCI) and the Socialists, or unopposed to interventionism, such as Christian Democracy (Democrazia Cristiana, DC). However, Cold war polarization expelled much of the Left from government. Italy’s recovery was then build around low wages, a large surplus labor pool, and limited social spending. It is important to note that the Italian postwar political economy—characterized by high public ownership and interventionist policies—never reached the extent of French dirigisme ; Italy’s policies were fragmented and uncoordinated as a result. Successive governments used diverted funds from United States’ European Recovery Plan (Marshall Plan) toward the public sector industries such as steel and chemicals. Despite complaints that the funds were intended to stimulate a capitalist economy, the early state intervention was enormously successful. Interventionist policy ushered in the Economic Miracle of Italy. Economic Record Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Italy’s economic growth ranked toward the very top of all West European countries. GNP doubled between 1950 and 1962. Car registrations quadrupled in the 1960s. By the 1970s, illiteracy rates dropped by 50 percent. Industrial workers surpassed the entire agricultural population in the 1960s, which dropped to a fifth of the total workforce. In the 1960s 2. What are some important characteristics of unions in Italy? How have unions impacted Italy’s political economy over time? What was the scala mobile ? What does “concertation” entail? How have other recent policies hurt labor? Important Characteristics One important characteristic of unions in Italy is their partisan nature. After their ideological allies were expelled from government, the union movement spit, inter alia , into:
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Confederation of Italian Labor (CGIRL), closely identified with Communists and Socialists, was strongest among industrial workers. Confederation of Italian Workers’ Unions
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This test prep was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course PSCI 000 taught by Professor Hongkong during the Spring '07 term at Mary Washington.

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Chapter 22 - Italy 1. Is Italy's postwar settlement best...

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