Low turnout rates with high geographical disparities characterized Italian national elections in the first six decades after the country’s founding in 1861. Historians have largely overlooked these regional voting differences and their potential economic implications. A multiple-group interrupted time series analysis regression model demonstrates distinct electoral trends between the Center-North and the South, coinciding with electoral reforms in 1894 that affected electoral competition, particularly in the South. Furthermore, a random effect panel regression model reveals determinants of regional abstention rates, which indicate that different factors influenced abstention rates in the Center-North than in the South, emphasizing the relevance of political factors in the creation and widening of regional divergences in Italy.

You do not currently have access to this content.