The Experience of Italy
The size of the market is a problem of which Italians are becoming vividly aware. In spite of the high rates of increase of production and exports after the war, the need to overcome the limitations of the domestic market is being sharply emphasized by the constant advance of modern production techniques and by the fact that other countries are favoured, when competing with Italy, by the large size of their domestic markets. Such limitations are now regarded as a serious obstacle to a full development of the national economy, and this widespread belief is expressed, in particular, by Italy’s readiness to join in the various endeavours towards international economic integration which have recently led to the establishment of the European Economic Community. It is worth pointing out that the decision to become a member of the EEC has met in the country with almost universal approval on grounds of economic as well as political expediency. Such approval is all the more significant in a nation where protectionist policies are traditional and which has but recently emerged from a period of economic autarky and is confronted with grave problems of unemployment and under-development.
KeywordsDomestic Market Export Market Efficient Scale Home Market European Economic Community
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- 1.Italian trade unions have recently pressed very strongly for a reduction of working hours in industries where productivity increases have been largest and most rapid (steel, motor-vehicles, chemicals). In this connection the Advisory Committee for the Government Ten-Year Development Plan has submitted an official report in which it is stressed that in relation to the objectives of Italian development policy, ‘productivity increases… should be utilised to a maximum degree in favour of the whole national economy through a systematic adjustment of the price structure to productivity’s trends’. For a theoretical and more general analysis of this problem, see P. Sylos Labini, Oligopolio e progresso tecnico, Milan, 1957.Google Scholar