The Italian Small- and Medium-Sized Firms in the Aftermath of the Crisis

Part of the Contributions to Economics book series (CE)


The outbreak of the recent crisis that began at the end of the last decade eventually uncovered the problems that almost all Western economies had been able to camouflage thanks to economic growth fueled by an unprecedented expansion in the financial industry. Within this context the Italian economy is a special case: its annual growth rate has been lower than that of its traditional partners and competitors for the last 15 years. Even the most optimistic forecasts for the next several years do not indicate significant improvements in the Italian competitive position. The success it enjoyed following its participation in the European Monetary Union brought to the fore the structural backwardness of the Italian economy, which is the main reason behind its low growth rates. The complexity and costs investors face when starting a business, the complexity and inefficiency of the fiscal, credit, and the legal systems, the difficulties associated with investor protection are only some of the obstacles that entrepreneurs face at the time of investing in Italy. More recently, we need to add a new weakness, that – until a few years ago – was considered a key factor in its success, i.e., the size of Italian firms.


Business Cycle Capacity Utilization Industrial District Italian Firm Italian Economy 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Economia, Societá, PoliticaUniversità di Urbino “Carlo Bo”UrbinoItaly

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