fbpx Research Seminar: Evidence from the Expansion of the Italian Highway System | Harvard Kennedy School
This event has passed

Date and Location

February 27, 2023
10:15 AM - 11:30 AM EST
B-l-1 Weil Town Hall



​The Growth Lab Research Seminar series is a weekly seminar that brings together researchers from across the academic spectrum who share an interest in growth and development.Speaker: Sara Bagagli, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Economics at Harvard UniversityAbstract: I analyze the effects of a large public transportation infrastructure investment on the industrial structure of local economies in modern Italy. In 20 years, between 1955 and 1975, more than 5,000 km of highways were laid down in the peninsula, making the Italian highway network the third longest worldwide at the time. The network was however disproportionate relative to national income and consumption levels and came as a shock to many localized environments. I show that proximity to highways is associated with a sizable and persistent decrease in the degree of industrial specialization. The results hold similar when looking within traded and non-traded sectors separately. A decomposition exercise further shows that, among non-traded sectors, the decrease is mainly driven by a reallocation of employment shares between sectors, rather than by an extensive margin effect through the creation of new sectors. For traded sectors instead, I first observe a net increase in the number of sectors with non-zero employment in the earliest periods into treatment, followed by a significant reallocation of employment shares between sectors of the local economies. As a next step, I am further investigating the channels at work, exploiting the rich heterogeneity that characterizes the local economies scattered across the Italian peninsula.Whether attending in-person or virtually, please register​ in advance. Room attendance is limited to the Harvard community. Seating availability is based on a first-come, first-served basis. The Zoom webinar is open to the public.About the Speaker: Since Fall 2022, Sara Bagagli is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Economics at Harvard University. Her main research interests are Urban Economics and Economic Geography. One line of research studies the role of urban forms in shaping the distribution of people across space. Another line of research investigates the effects of changes in transportation costs on the structure of local economies. Sara finished her PhD in Economics from the University of Zurich in Summer 2022.

Speakers and Presenters

Sara Bagagli, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Economics at Harvard University


Additional Organizers

​Growth Lab