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Micro-enterprises in Italy: a first analysis of economic and financial conditions

Author

Listed:
  • Stefania De Mitri

    () (Banca d'Italia)

  • Antonio De Socio

    () (Banca d'Italia)

  • Paolo Finaldi Russo

    () (Banca d'Italia)

  • Valentina Nigro

    () (Banca d'Italia)

Abstract

Italy is the European country where firms with fewer than 10 employees account for the largest share of value added and employment. On the basis of data from the company balance sheets and the Central Credit Register during the period 2003-2010, this work contributes to the analysis of these companies describing their economic and financial conditions and their relations with banks based on a sample of about 500,000 companies, of which more than 400,000 are classified as micro-enterprises. On average, they have lower profitability and higher debt, largely bank debt, than the other size classes. The proportion of loans made by the partners and shareholders is significant, a feature that can mitigate some of the risks associated with their weaker financial conditions. Econometric estimates indicate that micro-enterprises must provide more guarantees and pay higher rates of interest. In all aspects investigated in our work, the heterogeneity of micro-enterprises is much higher than for the other size classes, which suggests broad scope for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefania De Mitri & Antonio De Socio & Paolo Finaldi Russo & Valentina Nigro, 2013. "Micro-enterprises in Italy: a first analysis of economic and financial conditions," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 162, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:opques:qef_162_13
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    File URL: http://www.bancaditalia.it/pubblicazioni/qef/2013-0162/QEF_162.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Patrizio Pagano & Fabiano Schivardi, 2003. "Firm Size Distribution and Growth," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(2), pages 255-274, June.
    2. Bronwyn H. Hall & Francesca Lotti & Jacques Mairesse, 2013. "Evidence on the impact of R&D and ICT investments on innovation and productivity in Italian firms," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(3), pages 300-328, April.
    3. Silvia Magri, 2010. "Debt Maturity Choice of Nonpublic Italian Firms," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(2-3), pages 443-463, March.
    4. Rajan, Raghuram & Winton, Andrew, 1995. "Covenants and Collateral as Incentives to Monitor," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1113-1146, September.
    5. Douglas W. Diamond, 1991. "Debt Maturity Structure and Liquidity Risk," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(3), pages 709-737.
    6. Harhoff, Dietmar & Korting, Timm, 1998. "Lending relationships in Germany - Empirical evidence from survey data," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(10-11), pages 1317-1353, October.
    7. Matteo Bugamelli & Luigi Cannari & Francesca Lotti & Silvia Magri, 2012. "The innovation gap of Italy�s production system: roots and possible solutions," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 121, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    8. Fan, Joseph P. H. & Titman, Sheridan & Twite, Garry, 2012. "An International Comparison of Capital Structure and Debt Maturity Choices," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 23-56, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Emilia Bonaccorsi di Patti & Valentina Nigro, 2018. "The financial structure of Italian start-ups, in good and bad times," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 449, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    micro-enterprises; business companies; employment; banking relationships;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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