The literature notes that immediately after the unification, the level of actual economic integration in Europe was at a low level, especially in light of the fact that the Northern part of Italy was at a higher level of development compared to the Southern regions of the unified country. Meanwhile, in the period after the unification up until 1882, a process that was said to have started in 1832, well before the political unification, there was an observed trend towards the lowering of price differences of goods between North and South, a sign that in fact economic integration and diffusion was already happening during that immediate period before and after political unification. This in turn was traced to two things: one, the heightened economic integration between Northern Italy and the rest of Europe; and two, the parallel increased economic integration between Southern Italy and the rest of Europe, which allowed the southern part of the country to catch up with its Northern neighbor, and lower the economic disparity between the two Italian regions (Missiaia 2-4).
The disparities in economic strength and size between North and South, and the subsequent diffusion of economic growth to and from the two regions and the surrounding areas of Europe are the big markers as far as the economic implications of the Italian unification are concerned. Some studies made use of proxy figures of trade, such as wheat prices and trade volumes, workforce educational attainment, cereals consumption, labor