Size, Structure, and Strategies: Insolvency and "The Nature of the Firm" in Italy, 1920S-1970S
During the Twentieth century, Italian joint-stock companies remained relatively small and tended to die young. This fact constrained the development of the full potential of the Italian industry, as small-dimensioned companies struggled to implement the most efficient technologies and managerial techniques. This paper analyses this problem by looking at the functioning of insolvency procedures. Using quantitative and qualitative evidence, we show how various devices that progressively appeared on the scene failed in providing efficient solutions to re-start worthy companies. Insolvency procedures thus remained liquidation-prone, a factor that contributes to explain the peculiarity and the limits of Italian industrial capitalism.
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