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Productivity growth in Italy: a tale of a slow-motion change

Author

Listed:
  • Matteo Bugamelli

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Francesca Lotti

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Monica Amici

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Emanuela Ciapanna

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Fabrizio Colonna

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Francesco D’Amuri

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Silvia Giacomelli

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Andrea Linarello

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Francesco Manaresi

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Giuliana Palumbo

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Filippo Scoccianti

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Enrico Sette

    () (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

Productivity is the main factor holding back long-term economic growth in Italy. Since the second half of the 1990s, productivity growth has been feeble both by historical standards and compared with the other main euro area countries. Understanding the reasons for such a performance and finding the most effective policy levers is crucial to increase Italy’s potential growth rate. Against this background, we provide a detailed analysis of the data and a critical review of the available empirical evidence to identify both the structural weaknesses limiting productivity growth and the strengths of the Italian productive system that may support it looking forward. Since the end of the 1990s and more intensively since the second half of 2011, the reform effort has been particularly effective in the regulation of product and labor markets and industrial policy. On other factors which are very relevant for productivity dynamics, the reform action has been less effective so far.

Suggested Citation

  • Matteo Bugamelli & Francesca Lotti & Monica Amici & Emanuela Ciapanna & Fabrizio Colonna & Francesco D’Amuri & Silvia Giacomelli & Andrea Linarello & Francesco Manaresi & Giuliana Palumbo & Filippo Sc, 2018. "Productivity growth in Italy: a tale of a slow-motion change," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 422, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:opques:qef_422_18
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    1. Ignazio Visco, 2018. "Banche e finanza dopo la crisi: lezioni e sfide," Moneta e Credito, Economia civile, vol. 71(282), pages 95-118.
    2. Brunello, Giorgio & Lodigiani, Elisabetta & Rocco, Lorenzo, 2019. "Does Low Skilled Immigration Increase Profits? Evidence from Italian Local Labour Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 12226, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Fabio Pieri & Riccardo Verruso, 2019. "The determinants of corporate profitability in the Italian domestic appliances industry," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 46(1), pages 83-115, March.
    4. Matteo Bugamelli & Silvia Fabiani & Stefano Federico & Alberto Felettigh & Claire Giordano & Andrea Linarello, 2018. "Back on Track? A Macro–Micro Narrative of Italian Exports," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 4(1), pages 1-31, March.
    5. Carlo Ciccarelli & Matteo Gomellini & Paolo Sestito, 2019. "Demography and Productivity in the Italian Manufacturing Industry: Yesterday and Today," CEIS Research Paper 457, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 16 May 2019.
    6. Elisa Brodi, 2018. "Dealing with corporate crises in a timely way. Notes on the optimal design of an «Early warning and composition system»," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 440, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    7. A. Arrighetti & F. Landini, 2018. "Eterogeneità delle imprese e stagnazione del capitalismo italiano," Economics Department Working Papers 2018-EP01, Department of Economics, Parma University (Italy).

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    Keywords

    productivity; growth; business dynamics; innovation; human capital; labor; finance; regulation; policies;

    JEL classification:

    • D0 - Microeconomics - - General
    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • F0 - International Economics - - General
    • G0 - Financial Economics - - General
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General
    • L0 - Industrial Organization - - General

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