Reassessing the bank–industry relationship in Italy, 1913–1936: a counterfactual analysis
Until the banking reform in 1936, banks and industrial companies in Italy were strongly intertwined (both in terms of ownership and interlocking directorates). Using Imita.db—a large dataset containing data on over 300,000 directors of Italian joint-stock companies—this paper analyzes what would have happened to the Italian corporate network in the years 1913, 1921, 1927 and 1936 if the German-type universal banks and their directors would have not been there. Our test shows that new centers of the system would have emerged (financial, electricity, and phone companies), confirming the interconnected nature of the Italian capitalism. We also analyze two industries (textiles and iron and steel) characterized by different labor-to-capital intensities to check for sectoral differences. Contrary to conventional wisdom, we find that local banks were important in funding both industries.
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Volume (Year): 11 (2017)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
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