Seasonality and Capacity: an Application to Italy
Information on seasonal frequencies can provide valuable insights for understanding economic fluctuations. This is particularly true for Italy, where the variability of production in manufacturing is extremely high and almost entirely due to seasonal factors. This paper identifies the qualitative and quantitative features of seasonal fluctuations in Italy and compares them to those of France and Germany. Seasonality in Italy is twice as large as in France, six times larger as in Germany. Qualitatively, seasonal fluctuations are extremely homogeneous across technologically different manufacturing sectors, giving informal support to the contention that Italian seasonality may be due to endogenous factors (synergies across agents) as opposed to exogenous ones (seasonality resulting from changes in underlying technology and preferences). Next, we quantify the amount of seasonally-driven excess capacity in the Italian manufacturing sector, and show that it is around thirty percent higher than that in France or Germany.
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