The Italian Road to Creating Worker Cooperatives from Worker Buyouts: Italy's Worker-Recuperated Enterprises and the Legge Marcora Framework
32 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2015
Date Written: August 7, 2015
This paper highlights the first phase of a research program, completed in late 2014 and early 2015 that homes in on worker-recuperated enterprises (imprese recuperate dai lavoratori) in Italy. The paper specifically focuses on Italy’s worker buyouts (WBOs) facilitated by its Legge Marcora (Marcora Law) framework — the form of worker-recuperated enterprises predominating in Italy. The paper first offers a definition of WBOs as a subset of worker-recuperate enterprises. It also reviews the most common scenarios from which WBOs emerge globally. It then overviews Italy’s Legge Marcora’s legal and financial framework, and situates the emergence of WBOs since the early 1980s as direct responses to market failure, business closures, rising unemployment, and, with the most recent WBOs, coinciding with the Great Recession and subsequent austerity measures that continue to negatively impact the country. The paper then discusses key findings from our research on WBO creation in Italy, touching on their most salient demographic and geographic particularities. Throughout the paper distinguishes Italy’s WBOs as exemplar because of their resilience in times of crisis, and the inclusion of multiple stakeholders in its WBO framework, namely: workers, the cooperative sector, and the state.
Keywords: Worker buyouts; worker-recuperated enterprises; worker-recovered companies; business conversions; worker cooperatives; Legge Marcora; legal framework; enterprise entry and exit rates (birth and death rates); SMEs; Italy
JEL Classification: J01; J52; J53; J54; K2
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation