Fabrizio Onida

Industry and structural change in Italy: crisis and privatizations in the 1990s. In search of a new industrial policy

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The first section of the paper tries an overall assessment of the historical background and of the actual characters of the massive privatizations of former State-owned companies undertaken by the Italian governments along the 1990s and still going on today, drawing from several contributions published in the volumes "Storia dell'IRI", mainly the fourth volume edited by Roberto Artoni. The second section hinges upon theoretical and empirical underpinnings of the notion of industrial policies in advanced economies which compete in international markets characterized by entry barriers, asymmetric informations and technological uncertainty. The arguments should apply to the current historical framework of countries, such as Italy, put under pressure to re-discover its absolute and comparative advantages so as to enhance own endowment of human capital and foster economic growth.

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