Journal of European Economic History - 2018 issue 2


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Preserving Financial Stability in Times of Crisis. A Tale of Two Public Banks: Monte dei Paschi di Siena and Banco di Sicilia, 1929-1940
In this paper, we investigate the contrasting business strategies and models adopted by two major Italian public banks in the 1930s. Monte dei Paschi di Siena and Banco di Sicilia are interesting case studies for a number of reasons: their strong regional connections; their prolonged struggle for political independence from the national monetary authorities; their common attempt to modify the scale and scope of their business with the creation of integrated banking groups; and their early internationalization of activities. We examine how the two banks were affected by (and involved in) the major financial and economic crisis of the 1930s and show how external shocks altered their banking strategies and models. We also reconstruct the role played by the banking authorities and other important stakeholders.
The Greek Welfare State: A Tale of Reforms and Inequalities, 1951-2008
This paper adopts an economic and institutional history approach to depict the state of the Greek social insurance system in terms of occupational classification, prior to the adoption of the memorandums beginning in 2009. The crisis of social insurance was not new but quite an old story, plaguing Greece since the 1980s. Our analysis illustrates three fundamental issues that characterized the system for nearly sixty years (1951-2008): its continuous crisis since the 1980s; the substantial structural and organisational problems of the social insurance system and its component organisations; and the enormous inequalities in terms of spending (benefits in money and benefits in kind) between the various social insurance funds.
Notes on Venice’s Ship-Breaking Industry and the Scrap Market in the Sixteenth Century
In the past few decades the infamous business of ship demolition has gradually moved eastward from the less industrial parts of Europe to developing countries like India and Bangladesh. In the sixteenth century, this profitable industry thrived alongside shipbuilding at the very heart of Europe’s maritime powers. The rare discovery of two contracts with ship-breakers from Venice sheds valuable light on a largely obscure yet crucial practice that ensured the Republic a steady supply of reusable materials for building new ships, edifices, and infrastructures in a period of general depletion of sources of timber in northern Italy and Istria.
Sources for the Study of Postwar Reconstruction in Italy: The Export-Import Bank Loan in the Intesa Sanpaolo Group Historical Archives
This essay presents the findings of an inventory of the documents relating to the loan granted to Italy by the US Export Import Bank in 1947 that are conserved in the Intesa Sanpaolo Group Historical Archives – IMI Heritage. The article takes stock of the literature on postwar Italy, pointing to the relative scantiness, apart from a few essays and articles, of work on this first Ex-Im Bank loan to Italy and proposes an interpretation of the economic-political reasons for the aidaccorded to Italy by the United States following the end of the war. The focus is on the description of the archival heritage, mainly still unpublished, and the article suggests some possible research questions that can be fruitfully explored using these documents as sources.
Claudio Besana, Rita D’Errico, Renato Ghezzi (eds.)
Cheese Manufacturing in the Twentieth Century. The Italian Experience in an International Context
Ilaria Suffia

Francesca Bocchi
Per antiche strade. Caratteristiche e aspetti delle città medievali
Thomas Riis

Fabio Ecca
Lucri di guerra. Le forniture di armi e munizioni e i “pescecani industriali” in Italia (1914-1922)
Fabio Degli Esposti

Tadashi Obara-Saeki, Juan Pedro Viqueira Alban
El arte de contar tributarios. Provincia de Chiapas, 1560-1821
Aaron Pollack

Guido Pescosolido
La questione meridionale in breve. Centocinquant’anni di storia
Tiziano Torresi

Alessandro Vercelli
Crisis and Sustainability. The Delusion of Free Markets
Manuel Vaquero Piñeiro

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