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Productivity, Profitability and Financial Fragility: Evidence from Italian Business Firms

  • Giulio Bottazzi
  • Angelo Secchi
  • Federico Tamagni

In this work we investigate two crucial dimensions of firms’ structure and dynamics, that is profitability and productivity performance. The empirical distributions and the associated persistence over time are explored through a set of parametric and non parametric exercises performed on an large panel of Italian firms active in both Manufacturing and Services during the period 1998-2003. The main contribution resides in the use of an index of financial risk which allows us to document that not obvious interactions are in place among economic performances, financial conditions and availability of external credit. We also offer an initial understanding about how profitability and productivity relate with a third dimension of performance, that is firm growth. We find that, independently from the particular sector of activity and from financial conditions, there seems to be little market pressure and little behavioral inclination for the more efficient and more profitable firms to grow faster.

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Paper provided by Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy in its series LEM Papers Series with number 2006/08.

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Date of creation: 03 Mar 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2006/08
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  1. DiNardo, John & Tobias, Justin, 2001. "Nonparametric Density and Regression Estimation," Staff General Research Papers 12020, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  2. Giulio Bottazzi & Angelo Secchi & Federico Tamagni, 2010. "Financial Constraints and Firm Dynamics," Discussion Papers 2010/99, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
  3. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1995. "Production Functions: The Search for Identification," NBER Working Papers 5067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Giulio Bottazzi & Angelo Secchi, 2005. "Growth and Diversification Patterns of the Worldwide Pharmaceutical Industry," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 195-216, December.
  5. Chesher, Andrew, 1979. "Testing the Law of Proportionate Effect," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(4), pages 403-11, June.
  6. Giovanni Dosi & Marco Grazzi, 2005. "Technology as Problem-Solving Procedures and Technology as Input-Output Relations: Some Perspectives on the Theory of Production," LEM Papers Series 2005/26, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  7. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341, 04.
  8. Giulio Bottazzi & Angelo Secchi, 2003. "Common Properties and Sectoral Specificities in the Dynamics of U.S. Manufacturing Companies," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 217-232, December.
  9. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-97, November.
  10. Giulio Bottazzi & Angelo Secchi, 2005. "Explaining the Distribution of Firms Growth Rates," LEM Papers Series 2005/16, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  11. Giulio Bottazzi & Marco Grazzi & Angelo Secchi, 2005. "Characterizing the Production Process: A Disaggregated Analysis of Italian Manufacturing Firms," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 95(1), pages 291-318, January-F.
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