Private government "with" public money? Municipal corporations and local utilities in six Italian regions

8 July, 2012
Source: 
Stefania Profeti (University of Bologna) - Andrea Lippi (University of Firenze) - Giulio Citroni (University of Calabria)
Since the early 1990s, in Italy the corporatization of public bodies has become a prominent phenomenon, especially at the local level and in the domain of public utilities. In the context of a very fragmented and somewhat contradictory national legislative framework, the number of Italian municipal corporations has recently passed 5000 units, and represents a complex puzzle of diverse governance models and ownership structures.

The paper aims at discussing the state of the art of the public-private balance in the Italian municipal corporations, providing a quantitative analysis of the composition of the share capital of the Italian municipal companies involved in the management and delivery of public services, and trying to sketch a general picture of the composition of their shareholders’ Assemblies. Aggregate data will be limited to six Italian regions, and will refer to all the companies in which at least one municipality is direct or indirect shareholder. The analysis will take into account: a) the composition of companies’ share capital, in terms of both numerical representation (“heads”) and financial weight (“shares”) of public, private and “mixed” shareholders; b) the distribution of “heads” and “shares” among the various types of public utilities; c) the identification of the different
categories of actors that make up the public, private or mixed quotas, and the analysis of their presence and financial contribution in the various public services sectors.

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