IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

A Spatial Multilevel Analysis of Italian SMEs' Productivity


  • Giorgio Fazio
  • Davide Piacentino


Abstract In this paper, we adapt multilevel analysis methods to investigate the spatial variability of SMEs' productivity across the Italian territory, and account for differences in the socio-economic context. Our results suggest that to properly capture the variability of the data, it is important to allow for both spatial mean and slope effects. Social decay has the expected negative impact. However, while this effect is larger on firms with smaller capital intensity, firms with higher capital intensity seem to be less affected by geography. Greater territorial heterogeneity emerges among those firms with lower capital to labour ratios. Une analyse spatiale á plusieurs niveaux de la productivité de PME italiennes Résumé dans la présente communication, nous adaptons des méthodes d'analyse à plusieurs niveaux pour examiner la variabilité spatiale de la productivité de PME sur l'intégralité du territoire italien, et évaluer les différences sur un plan socio-économique. Nos résultats indiquent que pour saisir correctement la variabilité des données, il est important de tenir compte à la fois de la moyenne spatiale et des effets des pentes. La désintégration sociale a l'effet négatif escompté. Toutefois, tandis que cet effet est plus important pour des entreprises à moindre intensité capitalistique, les entreprises à intensité capitalistique majeure semblent être moins affectées par des facteurs géographiques. On relève une hétérogénéité majeure parmi les entreprises au ratio capital/main-d’œuvre inférieur. Un análisis espacial de niveles múltiples de la productividad de pequeñ as y medianas empresas italianas Extracto En este trabajo, adaptamos métodos de análisis de niveles múltiples para investigar la variabilidad espacial de la productividad de pequeñas y medianas empresas a lo largo del territorio italiano, y tenemos en cuenta las diferencias dentro del contexto socioeconómico. Nuestros resultados sugieren que para capturar apropiadamente la variabilidad de los datos, es importante tener en consideración los efectos de la pendiente y media espacial. El deterioro social tiene el efecto negativo esperado. No obstante, aunque este efecto es mayor en las empresas con una intensidad de capital menor, las empresas con una mayor intensidad de capital parecen estar menos afectadas por la geografía. Una mayor heterogeneidad territorial emerge entre las empresas con relaciones más bajas entre capital y mano de obra.

Suggested Citation

  • Giorgio Fazio & Davide Piacentino, 2010. "A Spatial Multilevel Analysis of Italian SMEs' Productivity," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(3), pages 299-316.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:specan:v:5:y:2010:i:3:p:299-316 DOI: 10.1080/17421772.2010.493953

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2013. "Do Institutions Matter for Regional Development?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(7), pages 1034-1047, July.
    2. Joseph Byrne & Giorgio Fazio & Davide Piacentino, 2009. "Total Factor Productivity Convergence among Italian Regions: Some Evidence from Panel Unit Root Tests," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 63-76.
    3. Rodriguez-Pose, Andres, 1998. "Dynamics of Regional Growth in Europe: Social and Political Factors," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198233831, June.
    4. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
    5. Luigi Guiso & Fabiano Schivardi, 2007. "Spillovers in Industrial Districts," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 68-93, January.
    6. Bontempi, Maria Elena & Golinelli, Roberto & Parigi, Giuseppe, 2010. "Why demand uncertainty curbs investment: Evidence from a panel of Italian manufacturing firms," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 218-238, March.
    7. I.P. Ottaviano, Gianmarco, 2008. "Infrastructure and economic geography: An overview of theory and evidence," EIB Papers 6/2008, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
    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. Giuseppe Espa & Danila Filipponi & Diego Giuliani & Davide Piacentino, 2013. "A spatial and sectoral analysis of firm demography in Italy," DEM Discussion Papers 2013/07, Department of Economics and Management.
    2. Mohamed Amara & Khaled Thabet, 2016. "Firm and Regional Factors of Productivity: A Multilevel Analysis of Tunisian Manufacturing," Working Papers 1041, Economic Research Forum, revised 09 Jan 2016.
    3. Aiello, Francesco & Pupo, Valeria & Ricotta, Fernand, 2011. "Explaining TFP at firm level in Italy. Does location matter?," MPRA Paper 35656, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Martin Srholec, 2015. "Understanding the diversity of cooperation on innovation across countries: multilevel evidence from Europe," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(1-2), pages 159-182, March.
    5. Francesco Aiello & Fernanda Ricotta, 2014. "Firm heterogeneity in productivity across Europe. What explains what?," ERSA conference papers ersa14p808, European Regional Science Association.
    6. Andrea Lasagni & Annamaria Nifo & Gaetano Vecchione, 2015. "Firm Productivity And Institutional Quality: Evidence From Italian Industry," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(5), pages 774-800, November.
    7. Fernanda Ricotta, 2016. "Productivity Differences By Export Destination," Working Papers 201601, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.
    8. Agostino, Mariarosaria & Nifo, Annamaria & Trivieri, Francesco & Vecchione, Gaetano, 2016. "Total factor productivity heterogeneity: channelling the impact of institutions," MPRA Paper 72759, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Aiello, Francesco & Bonanno, Graziella, 2015. "Multilevel empirics for small banks in local markets," MPRA Paper 64399, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. repec:spt:apfiba:v::y:2018:i::f:8_2_4 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Anna Ferragina & Fernanda Mazzotta, 2015. "Agglomeration economies in Italy: impact on heterogeneous firms’ exit in a multilevel framework," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 42(4), pages 395-440, December.
    12. repec:spt:apfiba:v:8:y:2018:i:2:f:8_2_4 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:spr:soinre:v:134:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1441-z is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Aiello, Francesco & Pupo, Valeria & Ricotta, Fernanda, 2013. "Firm heterogeneity in TFP, sectoral innovation and geography. Evidence from Italy," MPRA Paper 48573, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Martin Srholec & Pavla ?í?alová, 2013. "Does the local milieu matter for innovation? Multilevel evidence from the Czech Republic," ERSA conference papers ersa13p540, European Regional Science Association.
    16. Fernanda Ricotta, 2016. "The Quality Of Regional Government And Firm Performance," Working Papers 201606, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.
    17. Giuseppe Espa & Danila Filipponi & Diego Giuliani & Davide Piacentino, 2015. "Effetti spaziali o settoriali? La crescita della dimensione media d’impresa in Italia," SCIENZE REGIONALI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2015(1), pages 41-65.
    18. Cristina Bernini & Alessandro Tampieri, 2017. "The Happiness Function in Italian Cities," CREA Discussion Paper Series 17-07, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
    19. repec:eee:joecag:v:1-2:y:2013:i::p:72-82 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Fernanda Ricotta, 2016. "The Quality of Regional Government and Firm Performance," ERSA conference papers ersa16p357, European Regional Science Association.

    More about this item


    Firm heterogeneity; spatial variability; socio-economic context; multilevel analysis; C31; R11; R12; R30;

    JEL classification:

    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R30 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - General


    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:taf:specan:v:5:y:2010:i:3:p:299-316. 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: (Chris Longhurst). 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.