No. 3/2014:No blessing, no curse? On the benefits of being a resource-rich southern region of Italy


The aim of this research is to examine the economic effects of natural resources in Basilicata, a southern region of Italy. The paper focuses on the economic ef-fects of large-scale oil extraction that started in 1999. I proceed by systematically constructing a comparison unit for Basilicata using synthetic control techniques. The comparison unit`s economic parameters capture how Basilicata`s economic activities would have evolved in the absence of the oil extraction industry. The comparison between real GDP per capita in Basilicata and in its comparison unit suggest that a large amount of oil extraction, at times peaking at 50 barrels per capita per year, has no detectable effect on Basilicata`s economic performance.