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Old and new Italian multinational firms


  • Giuseppe Berta

    () (Universit� Commerciale "Luigi Bocconi", Milan)

  • Fabrizio Onida

    () (Universit� Commerciale "Luigi Bocconi", Milan)


After a quick profile of Italian foreign direct investments since 1900 and a short review of the main explanations of the lagged multinational growth by Italian manufacturing companies, a quick glimpse of business histories is given to the only two still today living "old protagonists" (Pirelli, Fiat) and to three old corporate groups (Olivetti, SNIA Viscosa, Montecatini-Montedison) who had also reached a significant degree of full internationalization early in the XX century, but during the second postwar period underwent profound dismantling of their original business mission. Finally the paper focuses on few cases of "new protagonists", mid-size family companies who undertook a true multinational strategy only in the most recent decades and today represent the core of the Italian "fourth capitalism".

Suggested Citation

  • Giuseppe Berta & Fabrizio Onida, 2011. "Old and new Italian multinational firms," Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) 15, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:workqs:qse_15

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Federico Barbiellini Amidei & Andrea Goldstein & Marcella Spadoni, 2010. "European acquisitions in the United States: re-examining Olivetti-Underwood fifty years later," Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) 2, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    2. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J., 1998. "Multinational firms and the new trade theory," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 183-203, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Federico Barbiellini Amidei & John Cantwell & Anna Spadavecchia, 2011. "Innovation and Foreign Technology in Italy,1861-2011," Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) 07, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    2. Alessandro Borin & Riccardo Cristadoro, 2014. "Foreign direct investment and multinational firms," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 243, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    3. repec:bdi:workqs:qse_07 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Italian industry-multinational companies;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • N63 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N64 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N83 - Economic History - - Micro-Business History - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N84 - Economic History - - Micro-Business History - - - Europe: 1913-

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