A key issue addressed by the Institute for Studies on Mediterranean Societies concerns the analysis of economic and trade relations between the countries of the northern shore and those of the southern shore of the Mediterranean. The long process of economic divergence between the countries of the two shores seems to have come to a halt over the last decade, but only thanks to the strong weakening of the growth rate of the northern economies, while the greater vitality of the emerging economies of the southern shore appears, in many cases, insufficient to fill the gap. Greater integration between the production systems on both sides of the Basin could favour an acceleration of the convergence process.

The Report on the economies of the Mediterranean, edited by the ISSM and published by il Mulino, is published every year by the Institute's researchers and by numerous experts in the field who collaborate every year in ongoing research.

Although there is no lack of quantitative information on the economies of the Mediterranean, there is a need to make the data of the various countries comparable in order to provide a reliable statistical basis for those who carry out research on the Mediterranean world. Only thanks to this basis of statistical knowledge is it possible to assess issues such as socio-economic cohesion, economic policies, integration policies and institutional evolution.

A wider statistical documentation than that provided in the Annual Report is available on the website of the Institute in the Mediterranean Economies Database. One of the tasks of the Institute's ongoing research is, moreover, to elaborate, in the past, a series of major economic indicators such as the demographic movement, the aggregate product, the per capita product, the structure of the product and the employment.