Valeriano Balloni

Le piccole e medie imprese in Italia: dove nascono, perché nascono e come crescono

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This paper discusses some issues concerning the nature and growth of small firms, originating from the research work made by the Ancona group, led by the well-known economist Giorgio Fuà. This paper critically reviews the historical process of the setting up of small firms considered the main support to the economic growth of Italy after the second world war by many scholars. It illustrates weaknesses and strengths of an industrial system based on small firms, and it suggests paying more attention to the way in which the growth of these small firms occurred in the last decade. The growth of small firms through groups and networks of independent business units, supports the hypothesis of a perfectly competitive model of industry based on small and medium-sized companies: the Italian way to flexible capitalism.

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