Case | HBS Case Collection | June 2002 (Revised August 2002)

"One Country, Two Systems"? Italy and the Mezzogiorno (A)

by Bruce R. Scott and Jamie Matthews


GDP per person in northern Italy caught up with average incomes in Britain, France, and Germany in the 1970s, but incomes in southern Italy (the Mezzogiorno) fell further behind. This was partly due to cultural and societal differences that dated to the Renaissance, but even more obviously to northern dominance of the new nation in 1860 and Mafia dominance of much of the south. This case focuses on 50 years of efforts to correct this problem. Italy, with its north-south income divergence, is a good metaphor for the global economy with its divergence between First World and Third World incomes. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

Keywords: History; Development Economics; Crime and Corruption; Social Issues; Economy; Government and Politics; Macroeconomics; Italy;


Scott, Bruce R., and Jamie Matthews. "One Country, Two Systems"? Italy and the Mezzogiorno (A). Harvard Business School Case 702-096, June 2002. (Revised August 2002.)