This article attempts to review some issues about market failures and non-market failures in the
local public utilities. Considering the different regulatory regimes no one seems superior to the
others. The limitation of the rate of return and price cap regulatory schemes are well known. Conditions
under which franchising permits to reach first best solutions are very restrictive. Yardstick
competition may obtain satisfactory results, if it is used with other regimes, and if the different situations
in which enterprises work are taken into account.
Catholic Social Teaching expresses the paradoxical claim that the Church «offers her first contribution
to the solution of the urgent problem of development when she proclaims the truth about
Christ, about herself and about man» (SRS, 41). This note discusses its implication for development
programming, with reference to the Millennium Development Goals and to some consensus principles:
quantitative targets, ownership, comprehensiveness and empowerment. Applying the two core
principles of CST, namely personal dignity of each human being and ontological unity of the human
family, the paper poses some questions about how to conceive development programming and how
to effectively achieve the desired development outcome, caring about the process of getting there.
This points to the need of providing not just for innovative instruments for development financing
but also for institutional conditions that facilitate personal initiative and commitment to practical and
concrete love for every human being.
The motivation of this paper is to propose a new interpretation of the relationship between economics
and politics in Italy: the main results are the following. Parties’ coalition power, as measured
by Shapley-Shubik index, helps to explain the governmental formation process, together with the power
of passing a law. We find that the president and the prime minister exercise a significant appointment
power: together with main parties’ secretaries and the Bank of Italy governor they represent
the restricted power e´lite. During the first republic the confirmation power in Parliament is high,
with a premium for the Christian Democratic Party: since 1994, with the second republic, the confirmation
power decreases and becomes more volatile. Parliamentary professional composition suggests
that the distance between political representation and electoral basis tends to increase and become
more polarized. Electoral vote is retrospective and takes the economic growth of the previous legislature
as the basic information
The aim of the paper it to explore the theoretical foundation of the competition among cities in
order to derive policy implications for both national and local public policy makers.
First we analyse the evolution of the concept of competitions among cities, starting from the static
view of the central place theory (spatial monopoly) until the networking approach and the dynamic
view of urban structure. In this respect, a special emphasis is given to the role of innovation in
urban competition. In order to measure urban competition, the SWOT analysis is proposed and discussed.
Finally the paper focus on policy instruments for increasing urban competitiveness, especially
on strategic planning.
In one of his earlier articles, Giancarlo Mazzocchi argued that the Paraguay Reductions could
not be considered communist since they showed an evolution towards more independent work on
plots entrusted to individual families. But he did not give any evidence of this surmised evolution.
Indeed, the historian Eberhard Gothein offered a compelling reason why this could not happen.
Work on public and private plots had to be monitored, and it was almost impossible to monitor
work performed on private plots. The Reductions can be seen as arising from an implicit contract
whereby the Guarany tribes yielded sovereignty to the Jesuit leaders, in exchange for (i) safety from
the Spanish colonists and (ii) subsistence. Thus subsistence for the Guaranis become a basic, public
task of the Reductions. Thus considered, the «Guarany republics» do qualify as communistic. That
education was also carried out publicly, thus engendering an «ethical state», is another concurrent
Giancarlo Mazzocchi gave important scientific contributions in the field of anti-inflationary policies.
In particular he stressed the important role of incomes policy in keeping cost pressure under
control. He also stressed the necessity of combining incomes policies with other instruments of economic
policy, such as measures directed to improve the functioning of product and labour markets.
More competitive product markets and more flexible labour markets are necessary conditions for an
incomes policy to be successful. He then analysed the different methods of linking wages to productivity
in a dynamic environment and he showed how a «norm» of uniform wage increases can compress
wage differentials and produce negative effects on labour mobility.
The paper examines Mazzocchi’s contribution to the theory of business cycles, focusing the attention
on the role of investment and cash flow. By referring to his very first contributions, a nonlinear
model of business cycle is developed where the role of cash flow and of different dividend policy
can have an impact on the fluctuations of the economy. Finally, the presence of uncertainty qualifies
Still-to-day «financing gap models» are currently utilized to calculate the need of foreign resources
to fill the gap between the required investment and available resources in the short-run. The macroeconomic
rationale for aid relates to its ability to increase domestic savings (savings gap), foreign
exchange (external gap) and government revenue (fiscal gap) in order to achieve the target growth
rate. Yet, financial gap growth models fail the large majority of the empirical tests performed since
the early nineties. The new paradigm argues that aid is effective to close the gap in the long-run only
if domestic policies are appropriate to mobilize domestic private savings, to create a macroenvironment
conducive to export growth/import substitution and to improve public expenditure management
(policy gap models).
The Italian university system has progressively evolved from a university for few to a mass university.
Its productive structure has only partially adapted to such evolution: a growing supply is accompanied
by a large number of dropouts. Traditionally, a state run university system requires all
units to operate with the same output mix, inclusive of general education and higher education. The
result is poor resource allocation in face of the many and diverse objectives of university education.
One better, utopian system, envisages a large number of universities devoted to general education
and a small number supplying higher education. General education at the undergraduate level would
be provided according to merit-oriented admittance rules. Teaching would adjust to the different talents
of the students and thus reduce the number of dropouts. Differentiation in the supply mix of
different universities is a necessary condition to reach the social objectives of mass education and
development of individual talents.
The present phase of liberalization of local public transport in European countries and in Italy
marks the end of a cycle which began at the turn between XIX and XX centuries. After a summary
of its developments in European countries and in the United States, we look carefully at its developments
in Italy, where they have been overlapping for most time with the institution of Municipal
firms. We rely heavily on a case study, on the ground that it could shed light on the rest of the sector.
The paper concludes with some conclusions relevant for the present policy debate on local public
transport in Italy.
The scientific contribution of Giancarlo Mazzocchi paid particular attention to the analysis of
wage determination and wage differentials within the functioning of the labour market. In this note
we intend to review the main features characterising the lines of research of Mazzocchi with particular
reference to his contribution to labour studies and wage determination. At the same time, we
shall attempt to link the main issues emerging from the old debate to the new perspectives on labour
The aim of this paper is the definition and measurement of the concept of vulnerability between
families in a relatively high income region of Italy. Poverty tends to be a multi-dimensional concept
and the use of monetary income as a single measure of welfare can be misleading. The concept of
equality of living standards is a more correct definition, but it is far more elusive. Using a national
poverty line as targeting for social policies might introduce inequality between regions and families
who face different cost of living. Indicators of vulnerability can have significant advantages over income
testing in the identification of eligibility rules to relieve immediate poverty and to prevent it in
the longer term.
Competition between public and independent schools and universities can improve the quality of
education. The paper compares the different systems of education in OECD countries and argues
that in some cases, such as Italy, a major reform should be carried out. Public intervention should
be designed not just on the basis of the standard market failure approach, but by searching an optimal
blend between individuals’ free choice and paternalism.
The paper stresses the financial aspects of building and organizing, in Italy, a Metropolitan City,
typically represented by Milan. It starts by recalling the theoretical insights dealt with in a contribution
written over thirty years ago by Giancarlo Mazzocchi, when the implementation of the «dream»
appeared feasible starting from the Milan Intercommunal Plan (PIM). It goes on adding excerpts of
the Author’s own contribution to the theme dating back to early nineties, when the Citta` Metropolitana
was added to the existing sets of Italy’s decentralized levels of governments by the innovative
Act 142/90. It then raises the problem of how large the financial needs for investments in infrastructures
of a new «Milano-City» (embracing the whole province) would be and how they would be
met. Lastly, it envisages a future setting around not only an economic, but also a social optimum.
The paper analyses the two alternative models of competition, which have been promoted by
the Regulatory Authorities in fixed telecommunications. The facility-based competition requires the
new entrants to build their own infrastructures, in order to be independent from the network of the
incumbent, while in the service-based model, the new entrants provide their services using the incumbent’s
network. Both models have pros and cons and the regulators have tried to combine the
advantages of both of them. However, enduring economic bottlenecks remain in fixed telecom networks,
mainly in the local loop, where infrastructure-based competition is unlikely to emerge, due to
the fundamental economics of building competing infrastructures. Therefore, the Regulatory Authorities
have imposed the local loop unbundling (LLU) in order to speed up the development of broadband
services. However, further steps may be necessary to ensure that LLU is really successful, allowing
the development of competitive markets.
The Italian constitution does not mention competition. A statement in favour of an economy
based on free markets could be introduced, but the European Treaties provide a sufficient integration.
The Italian constitution considers the public enterprise as the remedy to excessive market
power and the instrument to achieve social goals. The reasons in favour of public enterprise are
much weaker today than they were when the Constitution was written in 1947: global markets
and antitrust policy provide competition, capital is available for investment, regulation helps in reconciling
private enterprise with services of general interest. The main de facto arguments for
public enterprise are (a) the need to provide appropriate shareholders to essential facilities, (b) inertia
(since public enterprises exist, the burden of proof lies on the side of privatisation) and (c)
the debated link between national ownership and the national interest.
Italian agricultural sector is called, in the last’s century early seventies, to contribute in getting
out from economic crisis utilizing programming procedures formuled by experts. Along with the
economic crisis comes a political crisis and in such scenery the communist party obtains a strong
electoral results on regional base. Thanks to which it becomes a relative majority party. The cultural
procedures delivered by some experts give a chance to the main political leaders for a short time
supported by communist party to introduce the programming agricoltural policy, in order to eliminate
the three main deficits of Italian agriculture: a) food-farming deficit; b) agricultural programming
system deficit; d) powerfully presence deficit in European decision process. The removal of
such deficits which would convey the crisis behind.
Mazzocchi pursued along his career three main goals: teaching, researching, and forming of a
large team of economists. The four decades of his teaching, always at the Catholic University of Milan,
have involved several issues from the Welfare Economics, to the Educational Policy and Metropolitan
areas Governance and to Government Finance. As far as the research is concerned, particular
emphasis is given to the origin and development of the studies about Productivity increases and
wage policy, which very well describe Giancarlo Mazzocchi’s methodology in approaching research
matters. These activities had a wide covering in many other fields. A final review regards the main
commitment of Giancarlo Mazzocchi: forming and leadership of a large team of economists, and
their approach to the major historical events that marked the birth of crucial social issues.
Equity and equality in health care and health are aims that pertain to a specific sphere of justice.
Equity in health care (same cares for the same needs) is a hard goal because of a series of factors
that differentiate the real access to the providers (i.e. the personal revenue and culture). Otherwise,
equality of health is an impossible and non recommendable aim even in case of equity of access, because
of the biological, irreducible differences between individuals, and the role of the individual utility
functions. Public policies towards the best conceivables states of equity and approximate equality
of health must frequently trade-off between equity and allocative efficiency. At the micro level,
the possible improvements in the efficiency of providers and in the contractual relationships between
patients, providers and insurers could free resources and avoid selections of patients and cares that
are very difficult to accept on the ethical and political ground.
A radical reform improved the government of towns and cities in Italy at the start of the 1990’s.
Mayors were elected by citizens; they appointed their own executives and received «guides and
checks» from Councils. That model had nevertheless already started to worsen at the end of the
1990’s. Collusion between politics and administration was returning and town and city councils became
increasingly less useful. Further examples of this deterioration in urban governance are seen in
the legislation (i.e. its steps forwards and backwards) on local public services and cultural heritage.
In the mid Sixties, there has been a strong debate about the governance of the urban development
of Milan and its metropolitan area. Two alternative models proposed put forward contrasting
views. On one side, those who supported the opportunity of a planning based on great transport infrastructures,
to predetermine the outcome of the urban development. On the opposite side, those
who thought that such a goal was neither correct nor politically attainable, and stressed instead the
importance of process planning. The debate did neither consider the consequences of the implementation,
nor the problems involved in the management of each model. This debate anticipated an analogous
one both at theoretical and political level in the field of urban planners in the Western
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