Abstract: Convergence Lost: Finance, Governance, and Industry in Italy at the Beginning of the New Millennium

Andrea Colli


This paper will explore the evolution of the Italian financial market and its impact on the governance of Italian big business during the twentieth century. The main goals of this research are a) to understand if it is possible to talk of an "Italian model" of finance and corporate governance, as well as b) to identify which are the forces that contributed to shaping it during the last century, and c) to discuss the patterns of evolution of this model during the last two decades in the light of the globalization of the financial markets. After a general introduction on the main finance and governance models and on their convergence patterns in theory and history, I will examine the architecture of the Italian financial markets and its impact on the corporate governance of Italian corporations during the last century. In a third section I will identify the main forces driving toward a transformation of this system during the 1990s and analyze the outcome of this process. In the conclusions I will discuss the "convergence theory" in the light of the evidence from the Italian case.