The Role of Ports in the Development of Mediterranean Islands
The Case of Sardinia
International Journal of Transport Economics , Volume 35 - Issue 3 p. 295- 324
This paper examines the role of ports in the economy of Sardinia by means of the employment generated by port and port-related industries. The subject is important since Sardinia and other Mediterranean islands suff er from chronic unemployment and poor economic performance. The increase of the Europe-Asia commercial fl ows, the European Union enlargement and the renewed centrality of the Mediterranean have induced optimistic expectations on the development opportunities that may be created for the island communities by the maritime and port sectors. The employment generated by the maritime and port industry is an essential, although partial, measurement of the development impact of ports. Therefore its quantifi cation is indispensable in order to correctly estimate the impacts that a more central role of the Mediterranean might have on the local island economies. In the case of Sardinia, ports generate approximately three percent of the total island employment, and over eight percent on average of the employment of the single municipalities. This result adds to the vital role that ports have to play as transportation nodes and in creating value added.