Appropriate Leontief-type methodology applied to input-output matrices of the Italian economy for 1975 and 1980 has been used to carry out an analysis on the intensity of imports in each sector of the economy, i.e. the induced import effect from hypothetical unit increases in sectorial output. The inter-temporal comparison is carried out in real terms by revaluing the 1975 matrix at 1980 prices, thus the role of prices and of exchange rates on the balance of trade is not considered. Agriculture emerges as the sector with the lowest import potential in relation to increases in domestic production. By applying, to the same matrices, the method of differences, i.e. measuring the difference between the actual growth of a sector and proportional growth in relation to the inter-temporal change in GDP, it was possible to attribute differences to development determinants, i.e. domestic and foreign demand, import substitution and technical change.
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