Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The creation of new entities: stakeholders and shareholders in 19th century Italian co-operatives

Contents:

Author Info

  • P. Battilani

Abstract

The numerous studies made of the persistence of the co-operative movement during the course of the 20th century, have often distinguished between economic efficiency and the ethical values (or ideologies) in questioni, as if the two were separate phenomena moving in parallel directions. However, over the past fifteen years at least two approaches have led to an interweaving of the cultural aspects of co-operation with the question of economic efficiency: the Putnam’s concept of social capital and the property rights model based on the work of Henry Hansmann. In associating myself with an approach, where efficiency is linked with “culture”, I wish to examine the cultural components of the Italian co-operative movement which emerged from three different socio-cultural traditions: liberalism, catholicism and socialism. Despite their differences, all three seem to share what we refer to here as the “ideal of community happiness”, that is the ideal of a collaboration among citizens for the improvement of the standard of living of the whole community. In this paper we will measure the popularity of this culture in the various Italian regions by per capita welfare expenditure in 1880 and 1900. At that time everything spent for helping people in need was given by friendly societies, catholic charities and local councils and nothing came from the central state. Therefore only the spreading of non-profit societies and a proactive attitude by local councils could generate high per capita welfare expenditure. Indeed, such indicator would seem to be closely linked to co-operative expansion during the second half of the 19th century, and would thus appear to provide an explanation for the non-homogeneous geographical distribution of Italian co-operatives. The main conclusion of this essay is that in the early stages the link with the political and cultural movements was crucial not only for the emergence but above all for the viability of cooperative enterprises by reducing the costs associated with collective decision making.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www2.dse.unibo.it/wp/WP761.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number wp761.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:wp761

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Piazza Scaravilli, 2, and Strada Maggiore, 45, 40125 Bologna
Phone: +39 051 209 8019 and 2600
Fax: +39 051 209 8040 and 2664
Web page: http://www.dse.unibo.it
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

Citations

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:wp761. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Luca Miselli).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.