chapter  3
19 Pages

Does a Model of Italian State-Owned Enterprise Really Exist?


This chapter aims to show that an Italian model of public enterprise actually did exist and, subsequently, to delineate its main characteristics.

Here we anticipate that Italy’s most original contributions to the international constellation of state-owned companies in the fi eld were the public holdings created in the 1930s and 1950s, namely IRI (Institute for Industrial Reconstruction) and ENI (National Agency for Hydrocarbons). The peculiar nature of these institutions was the matching of state property with the style of private entrepreneurship and management. Therefore, even if IRI and ENI coincided with a signifi cant portion of the Italian economy, we’re looking at a form of nationalization more apparent than real, which gave birth to a system capable of blending state and market. For sure, such a discourse is valid for IRI and ENI in their golden age-the 1950s and the 1960s.