Alessandro Arrighetti, Fabio Landini

Firms' heterogeneity and stagnation of Italian capitalism

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Firm Heterogeneity; Productivity; Profit; Misallocation; Capabilities; Institutions; Italy.

Since decades, the growth of Italian capitalism has slowed down, leading to a growing gap from other advanced capitalist countries. However, stagnation is not a homogeneous phenomenon, but rather the result of very different firm performance. Our argument is that this growing heterogeneity is the result, somewhat unexpected, of the implementation, during the Nineties, of economic and institutional reforms that did not adequately take into consideration the specificities of Italian capitalism. Instead of favoring the transition towards a different model of capitalism, these reforms have produced a progressive «misalignment» of the productive apparatus. Some firms have adopted a strategic profile based on innovation and marked growoth in efficiency, while others have preferred to adopt more cautios choices, limiting investments and labor costs, with negative effects on productivity. Our argument is confirmed by the evidence derived from a panel of manufacturing firms covering the period 1989-2003.

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