The extremely large disparities in employment rates across Italian regions, and the bad performance of the Italian economy in terms of job creation in the 80´s and early 90´s make job creation a top-priority in the economic policy agenda. This paper uses data on employment from 784 Local Labor Systems (LLS´s) covering the whole Italian territory to analyze job creation and its covariates for the 1981-1996 period. Local agglomeration economies, in particular input-output linkages, social characteristics, in particular the crime rate, and infrastructure growth are found to be important determinants of employment growth across Italian LLS´s. Using these estimates and data relative to 1996, we assess the potential for job creation in the LLS´s for the next decade. The Northeast still proves to be the area with strongest potentials, while in the South Abruzzi and Northern Campania are the areas best equipped for filling their gap with the North.


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