La politica economica durante l’epoca democristiana

ANNO 53 2012
Piero Barucci

Economic policy in Italy during the Christian Democrat era
The article begins by investigating the reasons for 1994’s demise of the Christian
Democratic Party (Dc), in a manner much less dramatic than that which led to the
disappearance of the Italian Socialist Party (Psi). The author fully sets out the reasons of economic culture that enabled the Italian economy’s sustained growth during the fifteen years from 1947 to 1962, when the country was able to adopt a growth model based on opening to international markets, budget discipline, low inflation, and widespread wage moderation. Beginning in 1962, also in connection with the Psi’s entry into the government, the development model began to change, with the implementation of some «reforms» (including the nationalisation of the electricity industry) aimed at promoting equality rather than growth. At the same time, the constraints on development progressively increased and economic policy was influenced by such short-term events as the start of a negative phase in the business cycle, the two oil shocks, the attacks of the Red Brigades, the influences coming from European commitments, the explosion of public debt, and the lira’s many devaluations against the mark. Italian economic policy thus faced many constraints that the Dc was unable to manage with its own strategy. This is the ultimate reason why the party entered a prolonged period of difficulty in its political initiative, which was then to evolve into a full-scale crisis.

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