Turin as an Imagined District
1. Following the Evolution of the Network. The Business Community of Tunin 1883–1907
The aim of the paper is to statistical verify whether or not, during the 1890s economic crisis, Turin was characterized by a radical break of the existing economic structure. Indeed, recent historical contributions suggested that, even if some economic agent introduced elements of discontinuity, there exists endogenous elements that guaranteed the continuity of the intersectorial relationships and financial flows during the crisis. In order to do so, I exploited a database about the business community of Turin between 1883 and 1907, recently build by Ivan Balbo (Torino Oltre la Crisi, Il Mulino, 2007). I will combine such micro-data with the Italian historical GDP macro-data, recently produced also at provincial level (Ciccarelli and Fenoaltea, "Through the magnifying glass", The Economic History Review, 2013). In such a way, I can verify whether people moved from “old-fashioned” economic sectors to newer ones, or if newcomers invested in these last. Lastly, I will see if noble people or the most-central people in the network were more prone to lead the change.
2. Relationship Networks and Industrial Dynamics
In the second paper, I will reproduce the main elements of the analysis of the first one on contemporary Italian data (1995–2015). The aim will be to see whether or not there are similarities with the two decades of the Italian industrial takeoff. Moreover, I will add to the analysis more economic data at firm level –like revenues, employees, innovation activity– that are not available in the historical dataset.
3. Imagined Districts. Communities, Futures and Development
In this last chapter, I will explore the issues previously analysed in two specific historical cases at a theoretical level. Firstly, I will put my work into the existing literature. Then, I will suggest a short theoretical framework able to justify the results obtained in the previous chapters. Lastly, I will present an Agent Based Simulation Model (ABM) that reproduces these outcomes as a result of the mechanism proposed.