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Discovering the dark heart of Italian capitalism: a perspective from Supreme Court legal cases and business consultants’ analyses (1950s-1970s)

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  • Paolo DI Martino

    ()

  • Michelangelo Vasta

    ()

Abstract

This paper analyses the structure of Italian capitalism during the post-WWII economic miracle by focusing on the governance and management of small and medium firms. Using innovative sources, the paper shows that poorly conceived and/or enforced laws and legislation created incentive for business owners to be stockholders rather than stakeholders of their firms. This attitude emerges in two areas. Firstly, Italian business owners adopted structures of governance aimed only at protecting insiders, often at the expense of firms’ development. Secondly, in Italy business consultants had a unique and wide role in the management of firms, and acted to protect the benefits of insiders rather than the interests of the company. These two issues also contribute to explain the well-known problem of the dwarfism of Italian firms and the scarce capacity to innovate.

Suggested Citation

  • Paolo DI Martino & Michelangelo Vasta, 2014. "Discovering the dark heart of Italian capitalism: a perspective from Supreme Court legal cases and business consultants’ analyses (1950s-1970s)," Department of Economics University of Siena 698, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  • Handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:698
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N44 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: 1913-
    • K22 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Business and Securities Law
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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