Back to Growth? The Views of the Italian Elites

Lucio Baccaro, Arianna Tassinari (University of Bologna), and Cassandra Fuchs

For the past twenty-five years, Italy has recorded the weakest economic growth performance of the OECD. This is not just a domestic problem but also a source of fragility for the eurozone. What is the way out of this impasse? This research project aims to investigate the causes of Italy’s longstanding economic stagnation and the prospects for growth in Italy as perceived by the country's political and economic elites. Drawing on extant research on growth models, which has highlighted that viable models of growth rest on background consensus among political and economic elites, the study focuses on ideas of Italian elites about the Italian economy, its problems, and desirable reforms. Through in-depth qualitative interviews with a broad spectrum of political, economic, and technocratic elites, it seeks to map out whether there is ideational consensus or whether there are multiple competing views among Italian political and economic elites about the causes of Italy’s economic woes and possible strategies to rekindle growth in the post-Covid-19 era, and how elites’ ideas about growth shape policy agendas.

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