The Relevance and Economic Sustainability of Social Economy in Italy

15 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2015

See all articles by Carlo Borzaga

Carlo Borzaga

University of Trento; European Research Institute on Cooperative & Social Enterprises (EURICSE)

Chiara Carini

European Research Institute on Cooperative & Social Enterprises (EURICSE)

Maurizio Carpita

University of Brescia - Department of Economics and Management; ex Department of Quantitative Methods

Massimo Lori

National Institute of Statistics (Istat)

Date Written: October 14, 2015

Abstract

In many countries, the economic crisis has contributed to the increase of already-existing economic and social inequalities. These circumstances have contributed to the questioning of knowledge and conventional values, accelerating the need to rethink the roles of the different actors within the production system and to combine new forms of organization and interaction among the public sector, civil society organizations, private enterprises and citizens. In this context, researchers, politicians and society in the broader sense have focused on the role played by organizations, which by their nature mainly pursue social purposes and are characterized by systems of participative governance. The term “social economy” is often used to identify the universe of private organizations that pursue goals other than profit. This concept is increasingly supplanting other concepts that are used for the same purpose. While this sector has long constituted an important component of the economy in many European countries, the interest in quantifying its presence and importance is more recent, partly because of the lack of comprehensive data on all the different organizational forms it comprises. The Italian Institute of Statistics (Istat) sought to overcome this issue with its 9th Industry and Services Census. Given these premises, by analyzing the data of the Census, this study explores the size of the social economy in Italy in terms of organizations, employment and revenues, while taking into account the market/non-market orientation of the organizations.

Keywords: Social economy, Italy, cooperatives, nonprofit organisations, economic sustainability

JEL Classification: E24, J21, L31

Suggested Citation

Borzaga, Carlo and Carini, Chiara and Carpita, Maurizio and Lori, Massimo, The Relevance and Economic Sustainability of Social Economy in Italy (October 14, 2015). Euricse Working Papers, 81 | 15. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2663336 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2663336

Carlo Borzaga

University of Trento ( email )

Via Giuseppe Verdi 26
Trento, Trento 38152
Italy

European Research Institute on Cooperative & Social Enterprises (EURICSE) ( email )

Via S. Giovanni 36
38122 Trento (TN)
Italy

Chiara Carini (Contact Author)

European Research Institute on Cooperative & Social Enterprises (EURICSE) ( email )

Via S. Giovanni 36
38122 Trento (TN)
Italy

Maurizio Carpita

University of Brescia - Department of Economics and Management ( email )

Contrada S. Chiara, 50
Brescia, BS 25122
Italy
+39 030 2988642 (Phone)

ex Department of Quantitative Methods ( email )

Contrada S. Chiara 50
Brescia, BS 25122
Italy
+39 0302988642 (Phone)
+39 0302400925 (Fax)

Massimo Lori

National Institute of Statistics (Istat) ( email )

Via Cesare Balbo 16
00184 Rome, 0185
Italy

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