IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Foreign Ownership and Economic Performance in Italy: Not all is Cherry-Picking!


  • Rosario Crinò

    (Università degli Studi di Milano and CESPRI - Bocconi University, Milan, Italy.)

  • Fabrizio Onida

    (CESPRI, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy.)


This paper studies the effects of foreign participation on economic performance in Lombardy, a Northern Italian region accounting for more than 40% of Foreign Direct Investment inflows in Italy. We employ a large database consisting of balance sheet and foreign ownership information for more than 13,000 firms and analyze different dimensions of economic performance: capital and knowledge-intensity, productivity, wages, returns to investments and financial structure. We find that foreign multinationals are more knowledge-intensive, more productive, pay higher wages and show a more solid financial structure than national firms; at the same time, foreign multinationals show lower returns to investments. Propensity score estimation results show that this difference implies a true effect from foreign participation in the manufacturing sector; in the services sector, instead, the difference in favour of multinationals is mostly accounted for by a differential pattern of industry location between the two types of firms, by the larger size of multinationals and by the likely tendency of the latter to invest in already high-performing national firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Rosario Crinò & Fabrizio Onida, 2007. "Foreign Ownership and Economic Performance in Italy: Not all is Cherry-Picking!," KITeS Working Papers 207, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Nov 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:cri:cespri:wp207

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Mariachiara Barzotto & Giancarlo Corò & Ilaria Mariotti & Marco Mutinelli, 2016. "The impact of Inward FDI on host country labour markets. A counterfactual analysis on Italian manufacturing companies," Working Papers 1612, c.MET-05 - Centro Interuniversitario di Economia Applicata alle Politiche per L'industria, lo Sviluppo locale e l'Internazionalizzazione.
    2. repec:bis:bisifc:45-16 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Chiara Bentivogli & Litterio Mirenda, 2016. "Foreign ownership and performance: evidence from a panel of Italian firms," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1085, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

    More about this item


    Multinational Firms; Performance Indicators; Propensity Score Estimation;

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business

    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:cri:cespri:wp207. 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: (Valerio Sterzi). 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.