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Cooperative Firms And The Crisis: Evidence From Some Italian Mixed Oligopolies

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  • Flavio DELBONO
  • Carlo REGGIANI

Abstract

We investigate how cooperative firms reacted to the current crisis. This allows us to compare the behavior of cooperative and conventional firms facing exogenous shifts in demand. After a short survey of a stream of theoretical literature, we analyze a large group of Italian production cooperatives in the periods 2003-2010 and 1994-2011 and we contrast co-ops behavior with the overall trend in the industries in which they operate. Our sample’s evidence suggests that the cooperative’s behavior has a stabilizing effect on employment with respect to shocks in output demand. Unlike profit-maximizers, cooperative firms seem to be adjusting pay more than employment when facing shocks. Production co-ops look better equipped than their profit-maximizing counterparts in tackling the long recession also because they have been very cautious in their profit policies over time. Unlike conventional firms, they have significantly increased their own equity during “good” years instead of distributing large dividends to their members.
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  • Flavio DELBONO & Carlo REGGIANI, 2013. "Cooperative Firms And The Crisis: Evidence From Some Italian Mixed Oligopolies," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 84(4), pages 383-397, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:annpce:v:84:y:2013:i:4:p:383-397
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    Cited by:

    1. Federica VIGANO & Andrea SALUSTRI, 2015. "Matching profit and Non-profit Needs: How NPOs and Cooperative Contribute to Growth in Time of Crisis. A Quantitative Approach," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(1), pages 157-178, March.
    2. Flavio Delbono, 2016. "Le cooperative di produzione e la stabilit? occupazionale," QUADERNI DI ECONOMIA DEL LAVORO, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2016(105), pages 166-177.
    3. Damien Rousselière, 2019. "A Flexible Approach to Age Dependence in Organizational Mortality: Comparing the Life Duration for Cooperative and Non-Cooperative Enterprises Using a Bayesian Generalized Additive Discrete Time Survi," Journal of Quantitative Economics, Springer;The Indian Econometric Society (TIES), vol. 17(4), pages 829-855, December.
    4. Marina Albanese, 2020. "Social and Relational Variables in Worker Cooperatives: Implications for the Objective Function," Journal of Entrepreneurial and Organizational Diversity, European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises, vol. 9(1), pages 26-44.
    5. Esteves, Luiz A., 2014. "A Economia das Firmas Cooperadas e a Análise Antitruste [The Economics of Cooperative Firms and the Antitrust Analysis]," MPRA Paper 58908, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Anne Musson & Damien Rousselière, 2020. "Exploring the effect of crisis on cooperatives: a Bayesian performance analysis of French craftsmen cooperatives," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(25), pages 2657-2678, May.
    7. Maria Bastida & Alberto Vaquero García & Luisa Helena Pinto & Ana Olveira Blanco, 2022. "Motivational drivers to choose worker cooperatives as an entrepreneurial alternative: evidence from Spain," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 58(3), pages 1609-1626, March.
    8. Michele Costa & Flavio Delbono, 2021. "The Italian Geography of Regional Resilience: The Role of Cooperative Firms," Working Papers wp1166, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    9. Marina Albanese & Cecilia Navarra & Ermanno Tortia, 2019. "Equilibrium unemployment as a worker insurance device: wage setting in worker owned enterprises," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 36(3), pages 653-671, October.
    10. Simona Monteleone & Francesco Reito, 2018. "Cooperative firms in hard times," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 171-179, June.
    11. Tortia, Ermanno C., 2021. "Employment protection regimes and dismissal of members in worker cooperatives," MPRA Paper 109214, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Michele Costa & Flavio Delbono & Francesco Linguiti, 2021. "Cooperative Movement and Prosperity across Italian Regions," Working Papers wp1161, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    13. Flavio DELBONO & Luca LAMBERTINI, 2016. "Horizontal Mergers With Capital Adjustment: Workers Cooperatives And The Merger Paradox," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(4), pages 529-539, December.
    14. Flavio Delbono & Diego Lanzi & Carlo Reggiani, 2022. "Beyond Illyria: Workers' Firm in Mixed Oligopoly," Working Papers wp1170, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    15. Cecilia NAVARRA, 2016. "Employment Stabilization Inside Firms: An Empirical Investigation Of Worker Cooperatives," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(4), pages 563-585, December.
    16. Marina Albanese & Cecilia Navarra & Ermanno Tortia, 2017. "Equilibrium unemployment as a worker insurance device: Worker insurance and wage setting in worker owned enterprises," DEM Working Papers 2017/09, Department of Economics and Management.
    17. Marie Bouchard & Damien Rousselière, 2018. "Does Gibrat's law hold among urban social economy enterprises? A research note on Montreal social economy," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 38(3), pages 1523-1540.
    18. Samuel Ahado & Levan Chkhvirkia & Jiri Hejkrlik, 2022. "Is the Success of Rural Cooperatives Conditioned by the Group Characteristics and Their Value Chain? Evidence from New Farmer Groups in Georgia," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 34(2), pages 677-702, April.
    19. Luigi BONATTI & Lorenza A. LORENZETTI, 2018. "Why Wages Tend To Be Lower In Worker‐Owned Firms Than In Investor‐Owned Firms," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 89(4), pages 563-580, December.
    20. Guido Caselli & Michele Costa & Flavio Delbono, 2022. "What do cooperative firms maximize, if at all? Evidence from Emilia‐Romagna in the pre‐Covid decade," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 93(4), pages 821-847, December.
    21. Delbono, Flavio & Lambertini, Luca, 2014. "Cartel size and collusive stability with non-capitalistic players," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 125(2), pages 156-159.
    22. Figueiredo, Vítor & Franco, Mário, 2018. "Wine cooperatives as a form of social entrepreneurship: Empirical evidence about their impact on society," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 812-821.
    23. Anjel ERRASTI & Ignacio BRETOS & Enekoitz ETXEZARRETA, 2016. "What Do Mondragon Coopitalist Multinationals Look Like? The Rise And Fall Of Fagor Electrodomesticos S. Coop. And Its European Subsidiaries," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(3), pages 433-456, December.
    24. Carlo Borzaga & Chiara Carini & Ermanno Celeste Tortia, 2022. "Co‐operative enterprise anti‐cyclicality and the economic crisis: A comparative analysis of employment dynamics in Italy," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 93(3), pages 551-577, September.
    25. Guido Caselli & Michele Costa & Flavio Delbono, 2021. "What Do Cooperative Firms Maximize, if at All? Evidence from Emilia-Romagna in the pre-Covid Decade," Working Papers wp1159, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • P13 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Cooperative Enterprises
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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