IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Quality upgrading of Italian manufactures: evidence from firms� prices and strategies


  • Valter Di Giacinto

    () (Bank of Italy, Regional Economic Research Unit, L�Aquila Branch)

  • Giacinto Micucci

    () (Bank of Italy, Regional Economic Research Unit, Ancona Branch)


Even before the global crisis, the Italian economy was in difficulties internationally, but slow growth and a declining share of world trade were accompanied by a perceptible process of manufacturing transformation. This paper, using data from the Bank of Italy�s survey of manufacturers, measures a crucial aspect of the transformation, namely quality upgrading, from 2000 to 2006. The gauge of upgrading, not used in earlier literature, is the portion of price changes representing the return to value creation, both tangible (new products and improvement of existing ones) and intangible (branding policies). We find evidence of upgrading capable of explaining a quarter of the firms� average annual price increases (about 0.5 out of 2 percentage points), with roughly equal effects from the tangible and the intangible components. The analysis also shows that strategies of product upgrading helped foster job creation and sales growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Valter Di Giacinto & Giacinto Micucci, 2011. "Quality upgrading of Italian manufactures: evidence from firms� prices and strategies," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 804, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_804_11

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert E. Carpenter & Bruce C. Petersen, 2002. "Is The Growth Of Small Firms Constrained By Internal Finance?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 298-309, May.
    2. Whited, Toni M, 1992. " Debt, Liquidity Constraints, and Corporate Investment: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1425-1460, September.
    3. Lamont, Owen, 1997. " Cash Flow and Investment: Evidence from Internal Capital Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 83-109, March.
    4. Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1988. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 141-206.
    5. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    6. Matias Busso & Patrick Kline, 2008. "Do Local Economic Development Programs Work? Evidence from the Federal Empowerment Zone Program," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1639, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    7. Allen N. Berger & Gregory F. Udell, 2002. "Small Business Credit Availability and Relationship Lending: The Importance of Bank Organisational Structure," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(477), pages 32-53, February.
    8. Zia, Bilal H., 2008. "Export incentives, financial constraints, and the (mis)allocation of credit: Micro-level evidence from subsidized export loans," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 498-527, February.
    9. Ashenfelter, Orley & Card, David, 1985. "Using the Longitudinal Structure of Earnings to Estimate the Effect of Training Programs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(4), pages 648-660, November.
    10. repec:mul:je8794:doi:10.1429/26968:y:2008:i:1:p:107 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    12. Bond, Stephen & Van Reenen, John, 2007. "Microeconometric Models of Investment and Employment," Handbook of Econometrics,in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 65 Elsevier.
    13. Bronzini, Raffaello & de Blasio, Guido, 2006. "Evaluating the impact of investment incentives: The case of Italy's Law 488/1992," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 327-349, September.
    14. Steven N. Kaplan & Luigi Zingales, 1997. "Do Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities Provide Useful Measures of Financing Constraints?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 169-215.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    upgrading; product quality; firm strategies;

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • M30 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_804_11. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.