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Italian State-Owned Enterprises after Decades of Reforms: Still Public?

Author

Listed:
  • Stefano CLÒ
  • Marco DI GIULIO
  • Maria Tullia GALANTI
  • Maddalena SORRENTINO

Abstract

The present paper analyzes the top ten Italian state-owned enterprises (SOEs) over the period 2004-2013, after both their corporate organization and their markets have been deeply reformed. We question whether SOEs’ strategies are more profit or public oriented. The authors find that, on average, the management and performance of the Italian SOEs has improved and it holds the comparison with private and public European industry peers. Still, remarkable divergences persist among Italian in terms of performance and orientation towards markets or public values, largely depending on the intensity of the reforms they went through. Listed SOEs operating in liberalized markets are largely profitable and distribute dividends. They have expanded their business internationally, though cross-border M&As. As a result, a high share of their revenues and employees originates out of Italy. Conversely, unlisted SOEs operating in non-competitive markets are still somehow compelled to maintain an informal public mission; they provide universal services, they often incur in economic losses, which are partly covered by taxpayers.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefano CLÒ & Marco DI GIULIO & Maria Tullia GALANTI & Maddalena SORRENTINO, 2015. "Italian State-Owned Enterprises after Decades of Reforms: Still Public?," Departmental Working Papers 2015-26, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  • Handle: RePEc:mil:wpdepa:2015-26
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Tom Christensen & Per Lægreid, 2011. "Complexity and Hybrid Public Administration—Theoretical and Empirical Challenges," Public Organization Review, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 407-423, December.
    2. Przemyslaw Kowalski & Max Büge & Monika Sztajerowska & Matias Egeland, 2013. "State-Owned Enterprises: Trade Effects and Policy Implications," OECD Trade Policy Papers 147, OECD Publishing.
    3. Yair Aharoni, 1981. "Note---Performance Evaluation of State-Owned Enterprises: A Process Perspective," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(11), pages 1340-1347, November.
    4. Asquer, Alberto, 2011. "Liberalization and regulatory reform of network industries: A comparative analysis of Italian public utilities," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 172-184.
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    Cited by:

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    State-Owned Enterprises; Public Mission; State Capitalism; Privatization;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
    • L8 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services

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