Changes in the Italian economy: the cooperatives
This work compares cooperatives with other firms along two lines: (1) a description of structural development; and (2) a comparison of the strategies in response to the changes in the competitive environment in the last decade. Between 2001 and 2009, compared with other types of firms, Italian cooperatives maintained their greater size, lower labour productivity and labour costs, and a similar level of profit margins. A survey conducted on a sample of cooperatives located in the region of Emilia-Romagna shows that cooperatives have adapted their strategies to the new context in the same way as other firms. Cooperatives are still more focused on core business and differentiate their products less; this exposes them to greater price competition.
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