Linking FDI Network Topology with the Covid-19 Pandemic

Antonietti R., De Masi G., Ricchiuti G. (2020)
WP18/2020 DISEI Università di Firenze

Globalization has considerably increased the movement of people and goods around the world, which constitutes a key channel of viral infection. Increasingly close economic links between countries speeds up the transfer of goods and information, and the knock-on effect of economic crises, but also the transmission of diseases. Foreign direct investment (FDI), in particular, establishes clear ties between countries of origin and destination, and it is along these chains that contagious phenomena can unfold. In this paper, we investigate whether countries with more central positions in the global production network have higher COVID-19 infection and mortality rates. We merge data on EU-28 outward FDI with data on COVID-19 per capita infection and death rates to analyze their association with the topology of the FDI network. Our estimates reveal that countries most exposed to the COVID-19 outbreak are those characterized by a more central role in the global production network. This result is robust to the use of alternative measures of network centrality, and to the possible influence of the 2008 financial crisis on the structure of the global production network. We also find that exposure to the pandemic increases with the centrality of a country in the FDI network of certain industries, including business machinery and equipment, business services, real estate, tourism and transport.

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Heterogeneous Firms and International Trade: The role of productivity and financial fragility

Assenza T., Delli Gatti D., Grazzini J., Ricchiuti G. (2016)
CESifo Working Paper Series 5959, CESifo Group Munich

Starting from the premise that productivity is heterogeneous across firms, Melitz (2003) explains why individual productivity is key in determining the capability of a firm to export. In this paper we build a model along Melitz’s lines to show that also financial capacity, captured by the level of individual net worth, affects the behaviour of firms on international markets. We show that firms with low productivity may still be able to penetrate foreign markets provided they have enough net worth to incur the cost of exporting. In this setting, we explore the effects of changes in transport costs, fixed costs for exporters and of financial constraints.

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The Survival of Tuscan Firms

Randelli F. and Ricchiuti G. (2015)
WP02/2015 DISEI Università di Firenze

Social Capital and Firm’s Productivity in Italy: a Multilevel Approach

Nerozzi S., Pipitone V. and Ricchiuti G. (2014)
WP28/2014 DISEI Università di Firenze

Matching and merging different databases, we study how firm’s productivity is affected by individual characteristics and provincial context conditions in Italy. Mainly, we focus on the relation between social capital, in its different forms and dimensions and calculated at provincial level and firms’ productivity, calculated using the non-parametric DEA approach. We find that exporting, self-financing firms, and firms belonging to groups, are more productive. In particular, Cooperative firms are more productive than limited company. Moreover, the variables capturing the social capital show strong positive correlation with firms’ productivity, indicating that a widespread civism intended as pro-social behavior independent of specific interpersonal bounds, seems to create an economic environment which is more favorable to entrepreneurship and collaboration among firms, since it increases interpersonal trust, lowers transaction costs, enhances the compliance of formal or informal rules of fairness and fosters a more transparent, impartial and efficient working of the public administration.

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