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The structure of Italian capitalism, 1952-1972: New evidence using the interlocking directorates technique

Author

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  • Alberto Rinaldi

    ()

  • Michelangelo Vasta

    ()

Abstract

The paper explores the structure of the Italian capitalsitic system by focusing on the relationships between financial - banks, insurances and holdings - and industrial firms in Italy during the period 1952-72 through the analysis of the interlocks that existed between them. By an interlock is meant the link created between two firms when an induvidual belongs to the board of directors of both. The analysis is based on a database - Imita.db - containing data on over 300,000 directors of Italian joint stock companies for the years 1952, 1960 and 1972. After showing a descriptive statistics of the firms and the directors included in the database, the paper develops a network connectivity analysis of the system. This is integrated by a prosopographic study about the big linkers, defined as those directors cumulating the ighest number of offices in each benchmark year. The paper confirms that Italian capitalism maintained substantial peculiarities in the period investigated. In particular, it argues that interlocks played an important role in guaranteeing the stability of the positions of control of the major private firms and their connections with State-owned firms. In 1952 and 1960, the system, centred on the larger electrical companies, showed the highest degree of cohesiveness. That centre dissolved after the nationalisation of the electricity industry in 1962 and was replaced by a less strong and cohesive one, hinged on banks and insurances.

Suggested Citation

  • Alberto Rinaldi & Michelangelo Vasta, 2003. "The structure of Italian capitalism, 1952-1972: New evidence using the interlocking directorates technique," Department of Economics 0426, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
  • Handle: RePEc:mod:depeco:0426
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:mod:depeco:0013 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Leonardo Bargigli & Renato Giannetti, 2015. "The Italian Corporate System: SOEs, Private Firms and Institutions in a Network Perspective (1952-1983)," Working Papers - Economics wp2015_01.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
    3. Drago, Carlo & Ricciuti, Roberto, 2017. "Communities detection as a tool to assess a reform of the Italian interlocking directorship network," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 466(C), pages 91-104.
    4. Drago, Carlo & Millo, Francesco & Ricciuti, Roberto & Santella, Paolo, 2015. "Corporate governance reforms, interlocking directorship and company performance in Italy," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 38-49.
    5. David Thomas & Ginalski Stéphanie & Mach André & Rebmann Frédéric, 2010. "Networks of Coordination: Swiss Business Associations as an Intermediary between Business, Politics and Administration during the 20th Century," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(4), pages 1-40, January.
    6. Alberto Baccini & Leonardo Marroni, 2013. "In the shadow of the interlocking directorates regulation. A comparative case study," Department of Economics University of Siena 683, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    7. Carlo Drago & Roberto Ricciuti & Paolo Santella, 2015. "An Attempt to Disperse the Italian Interlocking Directorship Network: Analyzing the Effects of the 2011 Reform," Working Papers 2015.82, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    8. Maria Rosaria Carillo & Vincenzo Lombardo & Alberto Zazzaro, 2015. "Family Firms and Entrepreneurial Human Capital in the Process of Development," CSEF Working Papers 400, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    9. François, Pierre & Lemercier, Claire, 2014. "State or status capitalism? Some insights on french idiosyncrasis using an interlocking directorates approach," economic sociology_the european electronic newsletter, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, vol. 15(2), pages 17-33.
    10. repec:afc:cliome:v:11:y:2017:i:2:p:183-216 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Lucia Bellenzier & Rosanna Grassi, 2014. "Interlocking directorates in Italy: persistent links in network dynamics," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 9(2), pages 183-202, October.
    12. repec:spr:cliomt:v:11:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11698-016-0142-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Alberto Baccini & Leonardo Marroni, 2016. "Regulation of interlocking directorates in the financial sector: a comparative case study," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 431-457, April.
    14. Maria Rosaria Carillo & Vincenzo Lombardo & Alberto Zazzaro, 2013. "Family Firm Connections and Entrepreneurial Human Capital in the Process of Development," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 89, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
    15. Carlo Drago & Roberto Ricciuti & Alberto Rinaldi & Michelangelo Vasta, 2013. "A counterfactual analysis of the bank-industry relationship in Italy, 1913-1936," Department of Economics (DEMB) 0013, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Department of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    16. María Inés Barbero & Andrea Lluch & Andrea Lluch & Erica Salvaj & María Inés Barbero, 2014. "Corporate Networks and Business Groups in Argentina in the Early 1970s," Australian Economic History Review, Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 54(2), pages 183-208, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Italian capitalism; Interlocking directorates; Big linkers; Financial firms; Industrial firms;

    JEL classification:

    • N24 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: 1913-
    • P12 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Capitalist Enterprises
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques

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