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The General Confederation of Italian Industry maintains that wages are too high while business profitability is at a low, with negative effects on growth. It calls for profit and investment share to be remedied by compressing the wage share. This article shows instead that underlying the increase in wage share there are phenomena closely tied to the negative trends in demand and GDP and that decreasing it would further worsen the situation of crisis already present.
University reforms of recent years have aimed at increasing efficiency by reducing funding and adopting competition between universities. This study shows instead that the system of allocating resources penalizes Southern universities above all because it does not take into account their difficult socio-economic context. It would therefore be necessary to adopt indicators that do not penalize universities merely because they operate in less advanced socio-economic settings.
On the international scene, Italy is one of the countries with the highest underground economy. On the issue of tax evasion various studies based on empirical evidence show that the causes include both the high tax rates and psychological and moral elements. The article shows that despite the seriousness of the evasion, Italy has managed to combat the phenomenon thanks to the new government’s measures on tax compliance.
The leading position of Italy’s agro-food sector is threatened because of the Agromafia with the rise of organised crime in the sector. The article shows that criminal activities cause market distortion leading to an increase in prices and a loss of consumer buying power which depresses the economic cycle due to the fall in demand. The agro-food sector should therefore be protected and defended especially because it is capable of attracting large amounts of capital and of triggering processes of constant growth.
A large body of theoretical and empirical literature points out that investments in vocational training are able to boost corporate productivity as well as economic growth. In confirmation of this, Italian firms lag behind in the international rankings of training provision and, at the same time, are suffering a long-lasting productivity decline that slows down GDP growth rates. Using data from INDACO 2009 and CVTS4, I show that additional investments in training could be able to reverse the situation by improving the product.
Many commentators argue that in Italy the costs of immigration exceed the benefits but a careful analysis of the data casts doubt on this view. It is significant, for instance, that there is a credit balance in payments to the State by immigrants, who in fact pay more taxes and contributions than they receive in public services.