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Growth, competitiveness and firm size: factors shaping the role of Italy’s productive system in the world arena

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Abstract

The well-known anomaly of the size structure of Italian manufacturing industry, in which small and micro firms have a disproportionately high share of total employment and value added and large firms a correspondingly low one, has been accentuated in recent years, depressing nominal labour productivity in the economy as a whole. Hindering the expansion of small firms are obstacles rooted in structural and behavioural characteristics of the productive system, such as the aversion to loss of direct ownership and management control of family businesses and the consolidation of the model of industrial districts, alongside factors external to the firm, such as the nature of Italy’s banking and financial system and industrial policy measures. The declining trend in Italy’s shares of the international market in recent years reflects an unfavourable composition of outlet markets and sectors in terms of their relative growth dynamics, but it also stems largely from problems connected with the size-imposed limits on international and transnational expansion and the gradual break-up of once-dominant oligopolistic groups. The risks of a model of development in industry and services based on poor or mediocre human capital, and thus unable to employ and exploit the growing supply of graduates entering the labour market, must not be underestimated.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy in its series KITeS Working Papers with number 144.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2003
Date of revision: Jul 2003
Handle: RePEc:cri:cespri:wp144

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Keywords: Trade; Competitiveness; Size of firms; ItalyDirect Investment; Employment; Productivity.;

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References

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  1. Brioschi Francesco & Brioschi Maria Sole & Cainelli Giulio, 2001. "Legami di proprietà, strutture di gruppo e distretti industriali. Il caso dell'Emilia-Romagna," L'industria, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 4, pages 677-700.
  2. Chiarlone Stefano, 2001. "Evidence of Product Differentiation and Relative Quality in Italian Trade," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 147-168.
  3. repec:rie:review:v:4:y:1999:i:2:n:1 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Filippi Enrico & Zanetti Giovanni, 2001. "La grande impresa italiana nell'ultimo quarto di secolo," L'industria, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 4, pages 603-632.
  5. Balloni Valeriano & Iacobucci Donato, 2001. "I "nuovi protagonisti" dell'industria italiana," L'industria, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 4, pages 633-676.
  6. Matteo Bugamelli, 2001. "Il modello di specializzazione internazionale dell'Italia e dei principali paesi europei: omogeneità e convergenza," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 402, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  7. Stefano Chiarlone, 2000. "Evidence of Product Differentiation and Relative Quality in Italian Trade," KITeS Working Papers 114, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Jul 2000.
  8. repec:rie:review:y:1999:v:2:i:1 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Malerba, Franco, 2002. "Sectoral systems of innovation and production," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 247-264, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Annamaria Simonazzi & Paolo Villa & Federico Lucidi, 2008. "Continuity and Change in the Italian Model: Italy's Laborious Convergence towards the European Social Model," Working Papers 108, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics.

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