by Emanuele Bracco
In a Marshallian Industrial District (MID) agglomeration of firms is triggered by the presence of specialized workforce in a concentrated area. Labour mobility across firms then generates knowledge spillover across firms, i.e. a positive location. This centripetal force is balanced by centrifugal forces like congestion costs and increased prices of specific factors caused by the increased local demand. On the other hand, the New Economic Geography (NEG) approach on firm location focuses on pecuniary advantages deriving from being clustered. This implies that a region is
bound to have specific welfare advantages when an industrial cluster is located within it. Because of these advantages, there may be incentives for ‘‘industry grabbing’’ policies and tax competition between nations or regions. We analyse the case of policy incentives in a NEG framework with
technological spillover to the R&D sector. In this framework subsidizing R&D in the industrial region may lead to welfare improvement.
Keywords: Industrial districts, Subsidy, New economic geography, Industrial cluster.
by Bruno Jossa
The paper argues that the limited company can be looked upon as a transitional corporate form in-between the capitalistic mode of production and a new mode of production, as a springboard for the creation of a – fully socialist – system of cooperative firms. An additional aim of this paper is to show that Hilferding’s and Lenin’s distinction between the industrial and financial phases of capitalism may help shed light on the way the transition from capitalism to a – genuinely socialist – system of democratic firms may come about in practice.
Keywords: Joint-Stock Company, Socialism, Ownership and Control, Limited Responsibility.
by Giuseppina Malerba, Marta Spreafico
Understanding the reasons underlying income inequality has been the aim of much research in recent years. However, there are few structural investigations of the effects of the forces shaping the evolution of income inequality specifically between advanced economies. This paper proposes a theoretical framework of the factors affecting income distribution in a particular set of advanced economies, namely those of the European Union, and utilizes a fifteen-year panel (1995-2010) of 25 countries to identify the effects of several structural determinants of household income inequality. Our empirical analysis shows that families with children, shares of housing owners paying a loan, social mobility and labour markets institutions are the main structural determinants of income inequality in the EU. Also significant are the effects of economic growth and social spending for both monetary transfers and universal services. The paper concludes by providing some policy indications based on these main findings.
Keywords: Household disposable income distribution, European Union, Structural determinants, Panel
by Giuseppe Mastromatteo, Stefano Solari
This paper explores the meaning of the idea of common good as used in the classical political tradition in order to study its role in the present political economy. It first analyses the received meaning of the term ‘‘common good’’ in economics with the help of a brief sketch of its historical
development. Subsequently, some analysis of the notion is performed and related to some existing economic literature. Its relevance and limitations, due to incomparability with some mainstream economics, will be underlined. As the idea of common good connects individual behaviour to some collective notion of ‘‘good’’, the paper will discuss the relationship between the idea of common good and the role of the state in the economy.
Keywords: common good, ethical economy, merit goods, practical reason, communality.
Notes and Discussions
by Pierluigi De Rosa
How should the tax authority promote trust in its relationship with the taxpayer, in light of social interactions characterized by growing areas of uncertainty? In what way should the tax administration react to the generalized mistrust that invested the entire institutional apparatus? This paper aims to answer to these questions through an ethnographic survey, showing the strategies and measures implemented by Italian Revenue Agency to strengthen the taxpayer’s trust. A special attention is paid to the application of the procedural fairness and trust principles to the auditing activities, by means of interviews to tax auditors and observation of meetings between tax officials and taxpayers. As we’ll see, a relationship of trust between Revenue Agency and taxpayer can be nurtured through innovative organizational practices. Some factors seem to be crucial for the spread of a trustworthy approach, i.e. learning on the job, dynamics of conveying patterns of behaviour, auditors’ attitudinal profiles.
Key words: Trust, Tax compliance, Tax administration, Procedural fairness, Ethnography.