Earthquake hazard in Italy. Cluster analysis of socio-economic data to inform place-based policy measures

by Francesco Pagliacci and Margherita Russo
Department of Economics Marco Biagi, Università of Modena and Reggio Emilia Italy, and Centro di Analisi delle Politiche Pubbliche – CAPP Unimore

The Plan “Casa Italia” was launched by the Italian Government just after the series of massive earthquakes that struck Central Italy in 2016, following 2009 earthquake in L’Aquila and 2012 in Emilia-Romagna. The cumulative impact of human losses and economic and social uncertainty produced by the last disaster in 2016 has spurred the political decisions to advocate an ambitious long-term proposal, aimed at restructuring Italian buildings and homes over the next decades. Italy has experienced only another era of similar plan with the controversial interventions lasting more than thirty years with Cassa del Mezzogiorno started in the 1950s to cope with the dual condition in the country. No other long term ambitious planning has been tried in Italy since then and planning perspective is nowadays out of the experience of public managers, policy makers and even scholars in economics and development, who are increasingly involved in theories, models and analyses of short-medium term analyses of policy programmes, as the ones marking the EU programming policy of five, and since 2000, seven year horizon. The ongoing challenges that Plan Casa Italia has to face are multifaceted: political, economic, social; challenges pertaining agents asked to design the plan, to implement it, to accept it. The overall perspective of structural change will mark its implementation.
This paper is a first contribution in the broad framework to outline the conditions characterizing those challenges and the paths of changes that will be started for realizing the Plan and produced by it. The specific contribution starts with what the authors consider a preliminary step: to return the results of a detailed analysis of the socio economic, demographic and geographic conditions across Italian territorial areas, at a municipality level. This work explicitly aims to single out these features, by jointly disentangling both regions and seismic zones, as defined by Italian Civil Protection. The paper concludes with the results of a cluster analysis performed at municipality level across Italy and discusses implications for policy interventions.
Keywords: territorial resilience, process, social innovation, natural disasters, risk reduction, risk prevention
Jel Codes: O35, R58, Q54