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Subcontracting in the Italian industry. Labour Division, Firms’ Growth and North-South Divide

  • Giunta, Anna
  • Nifo, Annamaria
  • Scalera, Domenico

By making use of a 4000 firms database, this paper analyzes the dynamics of division of labour among Italian manufacturing firms during the '90s, and seeks to assess the impact that subcontracting has on manufacturing firms' growth. In particular, we investigate the relationship between labour division and firms' growth with three specific objectives: a) to understand whether and how subcontracting may have affected firms' growth dynamics; b) to test if larger growth could be due to stronger incentives to innovate for subcontracting firms and c) to study the joint influence of subcontracting and location in Southern Italy on growth. The main results are that i) the propensity to carry out subcontracting activities is relevant for growth, especially when allowing for a nonlinear relationship between growth and subcontracting; ii) more innovative subcontracting firms are also more susceptible to grow and iii) the deep dualism of the Italian industrial structure is once again confirmed, as Southern subcontractors show poorer performances and slower growth.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 13084.

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Date of creation: 19 Jan 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:13084
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  1. Evans, David S., 1986. "Tests of Alternative Theories of Firm Growth," Working Papers 86-36, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  2. Anna Giunta & Domenico Scalera, 2007. "L'impresa subfornitrice: redditività, produttività e divari territoriali," ECONOMIA E POLITICA INDUSTRIALE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2007(3), pages 123-146.
  3. David Hummels & Jun Ishii & Kei-Mu Yi, 1999. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Staff Reports 72, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  4. Francesco Daveri & Cecilia Jona-Lasinio, 2008. "Off-Shoring and Productivity Growth in the Italian Manufacturing Industries," Working Papers 339, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
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  7. Riccaboni, Massimo & Pammolli, Fabio, 2001. "On Firm Growth in Networks," MPRA Paper 15964, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 12 Nov 2001.
  8. Variyam, Jayachandran N. & Kraybill, David S., 1992. "Empirical evidence on determinants of firm growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 31-36, January.
  9. Newey, Whitney K & West, Kenneth D, 1987. "Hypothesis Testing with Efficient Method of Moments Estimation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(3), pages 777-87, October.
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  12. Bengt Holmstrom & John Roberts, 1998. "The Boundaries of the Firm Revisited," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 73-94, Fall.
  13. John Humphrey & Hubert Schmitz, 2002. "How does insertion in global value chains affect upgrading in industrial clusters?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(9), pages 1017-1027.
  14. Blandina Oliveira & Adelino Fortunato, 2006. "Testing Gibrat's Law: Empirical Evidence from a Panel of Portuguese Manufacturing Firms," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 65-81.
  15. P. Geroski, 1998. "An Applied Econometrician's View of Large Company Performance," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 271-294, June.
  16. Gereffi, Gary, 1999. "International trade and industrial upgrading in the apparel commodity chain," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 37-70, June.
  17. McPherson, Michael A., 1996. "Growth of micro and small enterprises in southern Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 253-277, March.
  18. Silvia Sacchetti & Roger Sugden, 2003. "The Governance of Networks and Economic Power: The Nature and Impact of Subcontracting Relationships," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(5), pages 669-692, December.
  19. Harhoff, Dietmar & Stahl, Konrad & Woywode, Michael, 1998. "Legal Form, Growth and Exit of West German Firms--Empirical Results for Manufacturing, Construction, Trade and Service Industries," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 453-88, December.
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