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Sergio PABA

Professore Ordinario presso: Dipartimento di Economia "Marco Biagi"


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Pubblicazioni

2019 - Working conditions and quality of work in the digitized factory [Capitolo/Saggio]
Fontana, D.; Paba, S.; Solinas, G.
abstract

The recent debate on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (i.e. Industry 4.0) focuses mainly on the issues of the substitution of human labour with robots, the disappearance of old jobs and the emergence of new ones. The impact on workers’ conditions and the quality of work within the production plant are much less explored and often only in an indirect way. This paper represents a contribution in this direction. After discussing some general and controversial aspects of the 4IR, we will present a stylized model of a 4.0 production plant, inspired by several interviews to a sample of highly automated manufacturing companies located in the province of Modena (in the Emilia-Romagna region, one of the most industrialized and innovative regions of Italy). We use his stylized model to critically discuss the idea, often taken for granted in the existing literature, that the quality and working conditions in the digitized factory are clearly better than those present in factories not yet affected by the Fourth Industrial revolution.


2019 - Working conditions and quality of work in the digitized factory [Capitolo/Saggio]
Fontana, D.; Solinas, G.; Paba, S.
abstract


2018 - In Favour of Machines (But Not Forgetting the Workers): Some Considerations on the Fourth Industrial Revolution [Capitolo/Saggio]
Paba, Sergio; Solinas, Giovanni
abstract

This chapter aims to guide the reader in the analysis of some of the main themes proposed by the debate related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). First, we discuss the impact of the 4IR on employment by reviewing the results of the relevant economic literature, drawing some suggestions for future research. Second, we review some of the policies developed by governments to support the digital revolution. We argue that while Industry 4.0-type policies are common to all advanced countries, policies in favour of digital technologies in the service sector are more fragmented, difficult to implement, and face a stronger resistance from workers. We finish the paper with a discussion of the main policy issues related to the workers and the labour market, with a focus on robot tax, shared robot ownership, and universal basic income. We conclude by emphasizing that while policies in favour of machines are widespread and supported by wide social consensus, effective polices in favour of workers are much weaker and still unable to mitigate the negative effects of the digital revolution.


2017 - What happens to students with a migrant background in the transition to higher education? Evidence from Italy [Articolo su rivista]
Paba, Sergio; Bertozzi, Rita
abstract

As shown by the international literature on educational attainment, in most European countries participation rates of students with a migrant background are usually lower compared to natives, particularly in tertiary education. In Italy, the focus of the debate is mainly on secondary school, while little or no attention has been paid to immigrant students attending universities. This paper tries to fill the gap by providing new empirical evidence on this phenomenon and by discussing some of the main issues related to it. Due to the lack of individual-level data, the analysis is based on aggregate data taken at the level of Italian provinces. The results show that, first, ethnic background probably matters. Transition rates are higher in provinces with a higher share of students of East European and Latin American origin. Second, although attending an academic track in secondary school increases the probability of enrolling in tertiary education, immigrant students with a Liceo diploma enrol at university at a lower rate compared to natives. Third, the local socio-economic environment can affect university enrolments. High youth unemployment rates have a negative impact on the average transition rates of immigrant students. Lastly, in provinces where immigrant communities are more integrated, transition rates are higher.


2016 - What happens to students with an immigrant background in the transition to higher education? Evidence from Italy [Working paper]
Paba, S.; Bertozzi, R.
abstract

As shown by the international literature on educational attainment, in most European countries participation rates of students with a migrant background are usually lower compared to natives, particularly in tertiary education. In Italy, the focus of the debate is mainly on secondary school, while little or no attention has been paid to immigrant students attending universities. This paper tries to fill the gap by providing new and extensive empirical evidence on this phenomenon and by discussing some of the main issues related to it. The results show that, first, ethnic background matters. East European and Russian students are more likely to continue their studies, as found in other European countries. Second and contrary to what is expected on the basis of the existing Italian literature, the specific secondary school track is not important for the transition choice. However, while this is true for immigrant students, it does not hold for the native population. For Italian secondary school graduates, the attainment of a liceo diploma increases the probability of enrolling in tertiary education. Third, local labour markets affect the incentive to invest in human capital. High youth unemployment rates have a negative impact on educational attainment for both immigrant and native students. Lastly, the average education level of the local immigrant population has a positive influence on transition choice.


2014 - Towards a History of the Italian Industrial Districts from the End of World War II to the Nineties, [Working paper]
Brusco, S.; Paba, S.
abstract

When did the first Italian industrial districts spring up? In which regions have they developed, and over what times, in the forty years of republican Italy from the end of World War II to the nineties? How do districts develop? How do they change their shape in time? By using for the first time comparable census data from 1951 to 1991 and with reference to the main existing literature on the subject, we try to answer these questions and to trace a history of the Italian industrial districts. In the discussion, we enquire into how the importance and role of the districts vary over time, and we attempt to assess their prevailing working conditions, their efficiency and their ability to face up to international competition.


2012 - Commento al saggio di Pierluigi Ciocca. Il protagonista dimenticato: l'Italia dei distretti [Articolo su rivista]
Paba, Sergio
abstract

Il saggio di Ciocca trascura il ruolo dei distretti industriali nella storia economica italiana del dopoguerra. Per dimostrare la loro importanza, nel commento viene presentato un confronto tra la matrice degli spillover dei sistemi locali del lavoro nel periodo 1971-1991, basata sul lavoro di Forni e Paba (2002), e la stessa matrice stimata per il periodo 1991-2001. Si mostra come le esternalità dinamiche abbiano caratterizzato l'Italia dei distretti nel ventennio settanta e ottanta, contribuendo alla crescita del reddito del paese nello stesso periodo. Nel decennio successivo, al contrario, i legami dinamici inter e intra-industriali al livello dei sistemi locali del lavoro si sono profondamente attenuati. La crisi e la trasformazione del sistema dei distretti può in parte spiegare il rallentamento della crescita della produttività nel settore manifatturiero italiano a partire dagli anni novanta fino al periodo attuale.


2012 - University funding: a comparison between Italy and England [Articolo su rivista]
Paba, Sergio
abstract

According to Aghion et al. (2007, 2008, 2010), the research performance of universities is positively correlated to the amount of budget per student. Italian universities usually perform poorly in international rankings, while the English university system is widely recognized as one of the best in the world. In this paper, Italian university funding is discussed by comparing data from the consolidated financial statements of English and Italian universities. Our main results indicate that English universities are on average much better funded than Italian universities, from both public and private sources, but there are no noticeable differences in the amount of block grants per FTE student received by the State (FFO and Recurrent Grants, data 2007/08). There are differences, however, in the share of the block grant distributed competitively after an independent quality assessment of research activity. In England, this share amounts on average to roughly one quarter of the grant. In Italy, a quality assessment has recently been introduced but it involves only 7% of the grant. The gap in the total available resources between the two university systems is due to two other main sources: student fees and research funding. The gap in research funding is both quantitative and in the way in which resources are allocated. In England, research funds amount to 47% of the block grant, while in Italy the share is only 21%. In particular, the amount of public funds available for research is 12.5 times higher than in Italy, a huge difference. More importantly, two thirds of total research funds are awarded through peer review and open competition, compared to Italy’s one fourth. The lack of funds and the lack of incentive effects due to the limited role of open and competitive allocation of resources can explain the poor research performance of the Italian university system.


2011 - Per la ricerca risorse scarse e poco competitive [Altro]
Paba, Sergio
abstract

I problemi dell'università italiana non dipendono solo dai tagli al Fondo di finanziamento ordinario decisi dal governo. Altrettanto importanti sono le risorse, pubbliche e private, destinate a finanziare le attività di ricerca. Il confronto con l'Inghilterra fa emergere come siano particolarmente scarse in Italia. E come quelle che pur esistono vengano allocate in gran parte con procedure non competitive.


2009 - Il finanziamento dell'università italiana. Un confronto con l'Inghilterra usando i bilanci degli atenei [Working paper]
Paba, Sergio
abstract

Secondo Aghion at al. (2007, 2008, 2010), la performance di ricerca degli atenei è positivamente correlata all'ammontare complessivo di risorse a disposizione. In questo lavoro si discute il tema del finanziamento dell’università italiana utilizzando un approccio comparato: i bilanci delle università inglesi vengono confrontati con i bilanci delle università italiane. I dati si riferiscono al 2007/08. Lo scopo è comprendere se e in quale misura il sistema universitario italiano è sotto-finanziato prendendo come riferimento uno dei migliori sistemi universitari al mondo. Queste le principali conclusioni. Il sistema universitario inglese dispone di molte più risorse finanziarie rispetto a quello italiano. Le risorse provengono da diverse fonti, pubbliche e private. Se si pesano correttamente gli studenti fuori-corso, non emergono differenze apprezzabili nel finanziamento pubblico corrente tra i due sistemi (FFO e Recurrent Grants). Esistono tuttavia differenze rilevanti nella quota del finanziamento ordinario distribuita su base competitiva dopo una valutazione della qualità della ricerca. Il divario nelle risorse complessive a disposizione dipende soprattutto da altre due voci: le tasse pagate dagli studenti e il finanziamento della ricerca. Su quest’ultimo terreno, il divario non è solo quantitativo ma anche qualitativo. In Inghilterra, le entrate per la ricerca in rapporto al finanziamento pubblico corrente ammontano al 50%, mentre in Italia al 21%. Il divario è dovuto soprattutto al totale delle risorse pubbliche destinate alla ricerca universitaria, che risulta in Inghilterra 12,5 volte maggiore rispetto a quanto distribuito in Italia. Non vi è solo una differenza di quantità tra i due sistemi: in Inghilterra, ben due terzi dei fondi complessivi disponibili per la ricerca vengono allocati attraverso bandi aperti e competitivi, contro appena un quarto in Italia. La scarsità di finanziamenti e il ruolo limitato degli effetti incentivanti propri dei sistemi competitivi di allocazione delle risorse possono contribuire a spiegare il deludente posizionamento nelle classifiche internazionali delle università italiane.


2006 - “I distretti industriali tra immigrazione e internazionalizzazione produttiva” [Capitolo/Saggio]
Murat, Marina Giovanna; Paba, Sergio
abstract

In questo lavoro si mostra come i flussi di immigrazione straniera low-skilled rappresentino l’aspetto più rilevante che ha caratterizzato i distretti industriali italiani negli ultimi dieci anni. Utilizzando i dati disaggregati dei censimenti delle attività economiche e della popolazione e riaggregandoli a livello dei sistemi locali del lavoro, emerge come i flussi si dirigano in larga misura verso i settori del Made in Italy, con due effetti principali. Da un lato, l’immigrazione straniera ha consentito la tenuta occupazionale del settore manifatturiero nei distretti nell’ultimo decennio, nonostante la forte pressione concorrenziale dei paesi emergenti. Dall’altro, l’impiego dei lavoratori immigrati low-skilled contribuisce a spiegare la bassa dinamica della produttività nei settori di tradizionale specializzazione italiana, rallentando il processo di ricomposizione della struttura industriale verso i settori più innovativi e a maggior valore aggiunto.


2005 - "I distretti industriali italiani tra globalizzazione e riorganizzazione" [Capitolo/Saggio]
Murat, Marina Giovanna; Paba, Sergio
abstract

Diversi economisti hanno recentemente sollevato il tema della competitività e della specializzazione dell’industria manifatturiera italiana e, all’interno di questo, il problema della tenuta del modello dei distretti industriali. Nella prima parte di questo lavoro viene discussa la performance dei distretti e dei settori Made in Italy nei mercati internazionali nel periodo di maggiore intensità dei processi di globalizzazione. L’analisi mostra un generale indebolimento nei mercati internazionali, ma dietro la contrazione delle quote di esportazione dell’Italia vi è evidenza di un effetto di riallocazione verso beni di maggiore qualità e più alto prezzo unitario. Nella seconda parte si è analizzata la dinamica occupazionale dei distretti relativamente agli altri sistemi locali del lavoro, ricostruita attraverso il confronto intercensuario. E’ emersa una sostanziale tenuta dell’occupazione distrettuale avvenuta attraverso una significativa riallocazione tra i settori di specializzazione e un marcato processo di terziarizzazione.


2005 - I distretti industriali tra immigrazione e internazionalizzazione produttiva [Working paper]
Murat, Marina Giovanna; Paba, Sergio
abstract

http://merlino.unimo.it/web_dep/materiali_discussione/0517.pdf


2004 - Come cambiano le attività economiche e i distretti industriali: un'analisi dell'andamento dell'occupazione tra i due censimenti (1991-2001) [Working paper]
Murat, Marina Giovanna; Paba, Sergio
abstract

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2004 - Imprese e immigrati in Provincia di Modena. I risultati di un’indagine [Capitolo/Saggio]
Bertolini, Paola; Paba, Sergio
abstract

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2004 - International migration, outsourcing, and Italian industrial districts [Working paper]
Murat, Marina Giovanna; Paba, Sergio
abstract

The international outsourcing of production and the flows of migration are generally analyzed in the literature as independent phenomena. This paper draws attention to some possible interactions between the two. From the point of view of individual firms, both the employment of immigrants and the outsourcing of production can represent useful strategies to curb the costs of labor and satisfy the tight constraints imposed by the international markets. The evidence provided in the paper shows that, while most of the developed economies are increasingly involved in outsourcing activities, many small and medium sized exporting firms of the Italian industrial districts are using low-skilled immigrant labor instead of outsourcing production. For a country as a whole, however, the choice of one or the other strategy can have significantly different implications in terms of international specialization and economic growth. These implications are discussed in a model of growth and international trade. The model’s main prediction is that the utilization of the unskilled immigrant labor in the manufacturing sector of the advanced countries tends to drive their specialization towards the low-skilled intensive sectors and to reduce their long-run growth rate.


2003 - "Clusters, industrial districts and firms. The challenge of globalization”, international conference, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Murat, Marina Giovanna; Paba, Sergio; Marchi, Gianluca; Solinas, Giovanni
abstract

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2003 - Global Brands and Industrial Districts [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Paba, Sergio; S., Montermini
abstract

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2003 - International Migration, Outsourcing and Italian Industrial Districts [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Murat, Marina Giovanna; Paba, Sergio
abstract

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2003 - International migration, manufacturing industry and industrial districts [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Murat, Marina Giovanna; Paba, Sergio
abstract

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2002 - Capitale umano specifico e flussi migratori [Articolo su rivista]
Murat, Marina Giovanna; Paba, Sergio
abstract

Why are internal migration rates so low in Italy and other European countries whereregional unemployment is high? The recent literature focuses on factors affecting labor supply: i.e.workers’ decisions to migrate and reservation wages. We emphasize the role of labor demand. Weargue that the shift from standardized methods of production to flexible production systems, whichoccurred in the last two decades, has increased the demand for skilled workers. In addition, as ithappens in Italian industrial districts, part of the human capital required is region specific -itbelongs to native workers, but can only be acquired at a positive cost by migrants. We provideempirical evidence and a theoretical model that show that this change in labor demand can explainthe reduction of internal migration flows.


2002 - Knowledge Spillovers and the Growth of Local Industries [Articolo su rivista]
Forni, Mario; Paba, Sergio
abstract

The literature on localized knowledge spillovers and growth focuses on the relative importance of intra vs. inte r-industry externalities, but the nature and the characteristics of the dynamic linkages across manufacturing sectors are not investigated. In this paper we perform a very disaggregated analysis in order to identify, for each 3-digit industry, which composition of industrial activity is more conducive to growth. We find that diversity matters for growth, but each industry needs its own diversity. We provide some evidence of clustering of industries based on dynamic externalities. We find that many spillovers occur within input-output relationships. They often originate in downstream sectors favoring the growth of upstream industries. Lastly, the importance of spillovers does not depend on the technological intensity of the industry.


2002 - Spillovers and the growth of local industries [Articolo su rivista]
Forni, Mario; Paba, Sergio
abstract

In this paper we investigate the nature and directions of inter-industry dynamic linkages across Italian manufacturing sectors. We perform a very disaggregated analysis in order to identify, for each 3-digit industry, which composition of industrial activity is more conducive to growth. We find that diversity matters for growth, but each industry needs its own diversity. We provide some evidence of clustering of industries based on dynamic externalities. We find that many spillovers occur within input-output relationships. They often originate in downstream sectors favouring the growth of upstream industries. Lastly, the importance of spillovers does not depend on the technological intensity of the industry.


2001 - “Flussi migratori e modelli di sviluppo industriale. L’esperienza italiana dal dopoguerra agli anni novanta” [Capitolo/Saggio]
Murat, Marina Giovanna; Paba, Sergio
abstract

In Italia e in alcuni paesi europei si osservano differenziali crescenti nei tassi di disoccupazione interregionale, accompagnati da una diminuzione nei flussi migratori interni e da una crescita dei flussi migratori internazionali. Nel cercare di spiegare le ragioni di questo andamento contraddittorio, la letteratura ha concentrato l’attenzione sui fattori di offerta di lavoro. In questo studio si mostra come anche fattori legati alla domanda di lavoro possono contribuire a spiegare il fenomeno. In particolare, l’abbandono dei sistemi di produzione di massa in favore dei sistemi di produzione flessibile ha previlegiato la domanda di lavoratori qualificati, da una parte, ed a basso costo, dall’altra. La prima parte della domanda viene soddisfatta soprattutto da lavoratori con capitale umano che spesso è specifico al territorio, soprattutto nei distretti industriali, mentre la seconda componente viene soddisfatta dai lavatori extra-europei, e non più da quelli provenienti dalle regioni meno ricche d’Italia.


2000 - A fuzzy approach to the geography of industrial districts [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Facchinetti, Gisella; G., Mastroleo; Paba, Sergio
abstract

We face the problem of individuation of italian Industrial district using a new approach based on fuzzy expert systems


2000 - Flussi migratori e modelli di sviluppo industriale. L'esperienza italiana dal dopoguerra agli anni novanta [Working paper]
Murat, Marina Giovanna; Paba, Sergio
abstract

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2000 - The sources of local growth: evidence from Italy [Articolo su rivista]
Forni, Mario; Paba, Sergio
abstract

The aim of this paper it to identify the main determinants of growth for local areas belonging to the same country. We examine the impact of a number of social, structural, and political variables on the economic performance of the Italian provinces during the period 1971-1991. Many of these variables appear for the first time in the Barro-regression literature. We analyze growth not only in terms of income, but also in terms of employment and population. First, we find that local growth is strongly affected by the diffusion of specialized industrial districts made up of small and medium-sized firms. Second, we find weak evidence of the importance of social capital for growth, whereas variables indicating political sub-cultures and social cohesion are strongly related with economic performance. Lastly, we show that crime and labor conflicts have a clear negative impact on employment.


1997 - Le politiche per la qualità dei prodotti [Capitolo/Saggio]
Paba, Sergio
abstract

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1997 - Per una storia dei distretti industriali italiani dal secondo dopoguerra agli anni novanta [Capitolo/Saggio]
S., Brusco; Paba, Sergio
abstract

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1997 - TECNOLOGIA, PROGESSO TECNICO E OCCUPAZIONE [Articolo su rivista]
Murat, Marina Giovanna; Paba, Sergio
abstract

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1993 - L'industria verde [Monografia/Trattato scientifico]
R., Malaman; Paba, Sergio
abstract

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1992 - Connessioni, competenze e capacità concorrenziale dell'industria in Sardegna [Capitolo/Saggio]
S., Brusco; Paba, Sergio
abstract

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1992 - Teorie della disoccupazione involontaria [Monografia/Trattato scientifico]
Murat, Marina Giovanna; Paba, Sergio
abstract

Raccolta e traduzione di articoli, curata dagli autori.


1992 - Teorie della disoccupazione involontaria: alcuni sviluppi recenti [Capitolo/Saggio]
Murat, Marina Giovanna; Paba, Sergio
abstract

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1991 - BRAND REPUTATION, EFFICIENCY AND THE CONCENTRATION PROCESS: A CASE STUDY [Articolo su rivista]
Paba, Sergio
abstract

The evidence from the European white goods industry, discussed in this paper, shows that once a brand segmentation of the market turns out to be sufficiently stable that is when brand-quality reputation becomes an important factor in the competitive game. It represents a strong inertial factor in the growth of firms even if market structure is far from being efficient in terms of plant size. The paper shows how the inertial role of brands has strongly affected the route of industrial concentration: it has been an incentive to mergers and takeovers rather than to internal growth, particularly when demand stabilized.


1991 - Reputazione ed efficienza. Crescita e concentrazione nell'industria europea degli elettrodomestici bianchi [Monografia/Trattato scientifico]
Paba, Sergio
abstract

Analisi dell'evoluzione dell'industria europea degli elettrodemistici bianchi. Studio del ruolo della reputazione dei marchi e delle economie di scala nel processo di concentrazione industriale. Analisi delle tecniche di produzione, dell'organizzazione del lavoro e della loro modificazione nel tempo negli impianti di produzione delle imprese italiane.


1991 - Teoria delle connessioni e sviluppo del Mezzogiorno. Alcuni risultati di un'indagine sull'industria della Sardegna [Articolo su rivista]
S., Brusco; Paba, Sergio
abstract

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1989 - Gli effetti previsti del completamento del Mercato Unico: il settore tessile-abbigliamento [Articolo su rivista]
Paba, Sergio
abstract

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1988 - The "Cost of Non-Europe" in the Textile-Clothing Industry [Monografia/Trattato scientifico]
M., Breitenacher; Paba, Sergio; G., Rossini
abstract

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1987 - Coalizioni e segmentazione nel mercato del lavoro: il caso dei porti [Articolo su rivista]
Murat, Marina Giovanna; Paba, Sergio
abstract

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1986 - 'Brand-naming' as an Entry Strategy in the White Goods Industry [Articolo su rivista]
Paba, Sergio
abstract

This paper focuses on a particular type of export sale of manufactured goods: the supply of final products to a foreign firm which produces the same or similar goods and which markets this prearranged supply under its own brand labels. Such "brand-naming" agreements cannot be described either as a typical subcontracting agreement or as a simple cooperative arrangement between independent firms. The aim of this study is to show how the use of this practice, as an entry strategy into markets protected by high product differentiation barriers due to brand asymmetries, helped the Italian white goods industry to rise to world prominence.