Stuck in the wrong place: long-term consequences of Pirate attacks in Italy

2 March 2017
Versione stampabile

2 PM, Seminar Room, Department of Economics and Management

Speaker: Antonio Accetturo, Bank of Italy


From the VIII to early XIX century, coastal areas in Italy (especially, the South) were raided by pirates coming from the shores of Northern Africa. This paper documents that to protect themselves, residents of coastal places relocate inwards to mountainous and rugged areas. It also shows that the relocation had persistent effects. Overpopulation in areas less suitable for economic development determined that affected areas remained underdeveloped for a long period after the pirates’ threat was over. We also present suggestive evidence that mislocation of population had negative aggregate effects on the economy.