Abstract: State-Owned Enterprises in the Italian Corporate Network, 1972-1983

Alberto Rinaldi and Michelangelo Vasta


State-owned enterprises pervaded Italian capitalism from the 1930s to 1999. Historians have stressed the relevance of state-owned enterprises to capital-intensive industries, but argued they also might curb private-sector growth. While researchers have mapped the extension of the major Italian state-owned groups, private companies in the Italian corporate network remain largely unexplored. We use the interlocking directorates technique to assess Antonio Chiesi's thesis that in the mid-1970s the Italian corporate network was marked by two distinct centers, one state-owned and one private. We base our analysis on Imita.db for 1972 and 1983, using both network analysis and a prosopographic approach. Contrary to Chiesi's results using a different sample, in 1972 the Italian corporate network was characterized by one large center, comprising both private and state-owned companies. By 1983, however, system cohesion had decreased sharply; state-owned enterprises had disappeared from its center, and the Italian corporate network, as Chiesi argued, had two distinct centers.

BEH On-Line Paper