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The Italian Firms between Crisis and the new Globalization

  • Accetturo Antonio
  • Giunta Anna
  • Rossi Salvatore

This paper analyzes the characteristics of Italian firms involved in global value chains («intermediate» firms) by using the Bank of Italy survey on industrial companies. Intermediate firms show, on average, worse features than «final» firms: smaller size, lower share of white collars, lower productivity and export propensity. However we observe a strong heterogeneity, depending on the ability (and modalities) to upgrade along the value chains. There are wide differences between upgrading and non-upgrading (marginal) intermediate firms in terms of size, efficiency, human capital endowment and international competitiveness. During the 2008-2009 crisis, marginal intermediate firms performed definitely worse; moreover, facing a collapse in world trade, firms that were upgrading by expanding their international linkages were more severely hit than those that were differentiating their internal functions.

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Article provided by Società editrice il Mulino in its journal L'industria.

Volume (Year): (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 145-164

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Handle: RePEc:mul:j0hje1:doi:10.1430/34268:y:2011:i:1:p:145-164
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  1. Razzolini Tiziano & Vannoni Davide, 2009. "Production to Order and Performance in Domestic and Foreign Markets," L'industria, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 437-466.
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  7. Elisa Giuliani & Carlo Pietrobelli & Roberta Rabellotti, 2004. "Upgrading in global value chains: lessons from latin american clusters," Working Papers 72, SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont.
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  11. Sofronis K. Clerides & Saul Lach & James R. Tybout, 1998. "Is Learning By Exporting Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence From Colombia, Mexico, And Morocco," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 903-947, August.
  12. Roberta Rabellotti & Alessia Amighini, 2003. "The effect of globalisation on industrial districts in Italy: evidence from the footwear sector," ERSA conference papers ersa03p500, European Regional Science Association.
  13. Corò Giancarlo & Grandinetti Roberto, 1999. "Strategie di delocalizzazione e processi evolutivi nei distretti industriali italiani," L'industria, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 4, pages 897-924.
  14. Stefano Federico, 2010. "Outsourcing versus Integration at Home or Abroad," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 742, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  15. Bair, Jennifer & Gereffi, Gary, 2001. "Local Clusters in Global Chains: The Causes and Consequences of Export Dynamism in Torreon's Blue Jeans Industry," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 1885-1903, November.
  16. Giunta, Anna & Nifo, Annamaria & Scalera, Domenico, 2009. "Subcontracting in the Italian industry. Labour Division, Firms’ Growth and North-South Divide," MPRA Paper 13084, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  17. Stefano Federico, 2010. "Outsourcing versus integration at home or abroad and firm heterogeneity," Empirica, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 47-63, February.
  18. John Humphrey & Hubert Schmitz, 2002. "How does insertion in global value chains affect upgrading in industrial clusters?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(9), pages 1017-1027.
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