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Reappraising State-Owned Enterprise by Pier Angelo Toninelli, Robert Millward, Franco Amatori

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13

Industrial Policy and the Nationalization of the Italian Electricity Sector in the Post-World War II Period

Renato Giannetti

INTRODUCTION

Historically, state ownership has been invoked for the supply of specific goods: public goods (defense), merit goods (health and education), or in order to achieve social equity goals, such as universal access to certain public services (utilities). Pleas for public ownership of an industrial sector came about as a by-product of the theory of imperfect markets (monopolies and oligopolies), a representation of market and firm behavior developed between economists and politicians in the 1920s and 1930s (Shakle 1967). According to this view, competition among producers is a wasteful process that restrains supply ...

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