Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Internal Borders and Population Geography in the Unification of Italy

A'Hearn, Brian; Rueda, Valeria


Brian A'Hearn


We offer new evidence on the spatial economic impact of Italian unification. Adopting municipal population as a proxy for local economic activity, we construct a new geocoded dataset spanning the pre- and post-unification periods, and discover robust evidence of an acceleration in growth near the former borders. A disproportionate improvement in market access boosted growth in these locations when barriers to trade were dismantled. Indirectly, unification’s decisive contribution to intraregional market integration, local specialization and exchange, and economic development is revealed.


A'Hearn, B., & Rueda, V. (in press). Internal Borders and Population Geography in the Unification of Italy. Journal of Economic History,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 22, 2022
Deposit Date Apr 29, 2022
Publicly Available Date May 5, 2022
Print ISSN 0022-0507
Electronic ISSN 1471-6372
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Public URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations