IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Entrepreneurship, Firm Size and the Structure of the Italian Economy


  • Pellegrino Manfra

    (City University of New York)


Since World War II, Italy's economic growth has been one of the highest in the world. The objective of this study is to examine the structure of the Italian economy and causes of this growth. It was found that small and medium-sized firms, most of them family-owned, have been the dynamic force behind the country?s extraordinary economic performance. The vital role of the family and that of the entrepreneur – as the supreme spirit of enterprise and initiative - has been paramount in this process. Production by small and medium-sized firms have concentrated in a specific geographical area called “industrial districts†and are capable of great cooperation with other firms, leading to increased production, efficiency and employment. In addition, it was found that small Italian firms have been very successful in the age of globalization, better able to take advantage of their small size by means of flexible strategies to innovate, invest and increase their export. Contrary to conventional wisdom, modernization theories (so widespread in the 1950s and 1960s) indicate that large firms have been models for growth in other industrialized countries and have exerted a passive role in the structure and development of the Italian economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Pellegrino Manfra, 2002. "Entrepreneurship, Firm Size and the Structure of the Italian Economy," Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance, Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management, vol. 7(3), pages 99-111, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:pep:journl:v:7:y:2002:i:3:p:99-111

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David B. Audretsch, 1995. "Innovation and Industry Evolution," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262011468, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Matthew Melchiorre & Emilio Rocca, 2013. "The Unintended Consequences of Italy's Labour Laws: How Extensive Labour Regulation Distorts the Italian Economy," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 156-173, June.

    More about this item


    Firm Size; Firm Structure; Entrepreneurship; Italy;

    JEL classification:

    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pep:journl:v:7:y:2002:i:3:p:99-111. 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: (Craig Everett). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.