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Diagnosing the Italian Disease

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  • Bruno Pellegrino
  • Luigi Zingales

Abstract

We try to explain why Italy’s labor productivity stopped growing in the mid-1990s. We find no evidence that this slowdown is due to trade dynamics, Italy’s inefficient governmental apparatus, or excessively protective labor regulations. By contrast, the data suggest that Italy’s slowdown was more likely caused by the failure of its firms to take full advantage of the ICT revolution. While many institutional features can account for this failure, a prominent one is the lack of meritocracy in the selection and rewarding of managers. Familyism and cronyism are the ultimate causes of the Italian disease.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruno Pellegrino & Luigi Zingales, 2017. "Diagnosing the Italian Disease," NBER Working Papers 23964, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23964
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Manacorda, Marco & Gagliarducci, Stefano, 2016. "Politics in the family: Nepotism and the hiring decisionsof Italian firms," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 66440, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Albonico, Alice & Calès, Ludovic & Cardani, Roberta & Croitorov, Olga & Ferroni, Filippo & Giovannini, Massimo & Hohberger, Stefan & Pataracchia, Beatrice & Pericoli, Filippo & Raciborski, Rafal & Rat, 2017. "The Global Multi-Country Model (GM): an Estimated DSGE Model for the Euro Area Countries," Working Papers 2017-10, Joint Research Centre, European Commission (Ispra site).
    3. Cette, Gilbert & Fernald, John & Mojon, Benoît, 2016. "The pre-Great Recession slowdown in productivity," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 3-20.
    4. Raffaela Giordano & Sergi Lanau & Pietro Tommasino & Petia Topalova, 2015. "Does Public Sector Inefficiency Constrain Firm Productivity; Evidence from Italian Provinces," IMF Working Papers 15/168, International Monetary Fund.
    5. repec:liu:liucej:v:15:y:2018:i:1:p:119-164 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Francesco Manaresi & Nicola Pierri, 2018. "Credit supply and productivity growth," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1168, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    7. S. Calligaris & M. Del Gatto & F. Hassan & G. I.P. Ottaviano & F. Schivardi, 2017. "The Productivity Puzzle and Misallocation: an Italian Perspective," Working Paper CRENoS 201710, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    8. Edouard Challe & Jose Ignacio Lopez & Eric Mengus, 2016. "Southern Europe's institutional decline," Working Papers hal-01331723, HAL.
    9. L. Di Matteo & Tom Barbiero, 2017. "Economic Growth and the Public Sector: A Comparison of Canada and Italy, 1870†2013," Working Papers 069, Ryerson University, Department of Economics.
    10. Fabiano Schivardi & Tom Schmitz, 2018. "The IT Revolution and Southern Europe’s Two Lost Decades," Working Papers LuissLab 18138, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, LUISS Guido Carli.
    11. Gartner, Christine & Giordano, Claire & Lopez-Garcia, Paloma & Gamberoni, Elisa, 2016. "Is corruption efficiency-enhancing? A case study of nine Central and Eastern European countries," Working Paper Series 1950, European Central Bank.
    12. Francesco Manaresi & Nicola Pierri, 2018. "Credit supply and productivity growth," BIS Working Papers 711, Bank for International Settlements.
    13. Andini, Corrado, 2014. "Fixed Exchange-Rate Policy and Real Wage Growth: Quasi-Experimental Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 8701, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Matteo Bugamelli & Francesca Lotti & Monica Amici & Emanuela Ciapanna & Fabrizio Colonna & Francesco D’Amuri & Silvia Giacomelli & Andrea Linarello & Francesco Manaresi & Giuliana Palumbo & Filippo Sc, 2018. "Productivity growth in Italy: a tale of a slow-motion change," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 422, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    15. Kounetas, Kostas & Napolitano, Oreste, 2015. "Too much EMU? An investigation of technology gaps," MPRA Paper 67600, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Francesco D'Acunto & Laurent Frésard, 2018. "Finance, Talent Allocation, and Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 6883, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility
    • M15 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - IT Management

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