The Institute of Economics will hold a seminar meeting as part of its Seminar Series on Tuesday, January 24, 2023: Simone Gasperin from the University College London will present the paper "Systems of State-Owned Enterprises: from Public Entrepreneurship to State Shareholding".
The talk outlines a new analytical perspective on state ownership through the concept of systems of state-owned enterprises (SOSOEs). The SOSOEs concept captures the evolution of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in modern capitalist economies, challenging and enriching existing economic theories as well as contributing to reinstate the policy instrumentality of state ownership. The concept is defined from a comparative case study analysis of two distinct SOSOEs, operating within the same national context in different time periods. The first case concerns the Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale (IRI), Italy’s former and most relevant state holding company, that played a central role in the Country’s post-WWII economic development, pursuing public policy missions and displaying industrial entrepreneurship features. The second case examines the current Italian system of SOEs, assessing the still relevant presence of SOEs in Italy and evaluating the overall governance of the system. Despite the similarity in size and sectoral diversification, the two SOSOEs differ significantly in terms of their operating configurations. In fact, they could be assimilated to two dichotomous ideal types: the IRI SOSOEs represents a template for the policy-oriented and dynamic ‘public entrepreneurship’ model, while the current Italian SOSOEs resembles the policy-neutral and passive ‘state shareholding’ variant. Implicit in these results is the opportunity for current SOSOEs to embrace a public entrepreneurship configuration, in order to exploit the full policy potential of state ownership in driving economic change. The presentation concludes with a proposal for reforming Italy’s current SOSOEs via the creation of a state holding company.
The seminar will be held in blended mode. In person participation is possible in Aula 3 and available seats are allocated on a first come first served basis. For online participation please use the following link.