Plants, firms and groups in the macroeconomy

Prof. Giovanni Pica
Prof. Giovanni Pica

Institutional Communication Service

7 May 2019

The inaugural lecture of Prof. Giovanni Pica, USI Faculty of Economics, will take place on Tuesday, May 21, at 5:30PM at the Lugano campus Auditorium. The lecture is open to the academic community and to the public interested in these topics, representing thus an opportunity to learn about the ideas and work of Prof. Pica, who joined the USI Institute of Economics last year.

Understanding the evolution of macroeconomic outcomes requires an adequate comprehension of the underlying firms dynamics. In recent decades, the differences between firms in terms of their relative sales, productivity and wages have increased enormously. Many observers are concerned about the increasing market concentration in Europe and the United States, and its potential negative impact on consumers and workers. The reasons behind these facts have recently become object of debate among economists. According to some, more and more industries have become “winner take most/all”, because technological change and globalisation increase the importance of network externalities and of scale economies to the benefit of large competitors, the so-called superstar firms. According to others, the increase in market concentration is due to increased market power, caused by reduced competition and weaker enforcement of antitrust laws.

In his inaugural lecture, Prof. Giovanni Pica will address these issues, analysing the causes of the large and increasing heterogeneity between firms and discussing their macroeconomic consequences. Based on his recent research, Prof. Pica will argue that a full understanding of the heterogenity in firms dynamics requires taking into account how production activities are organized within plants, firms and groups.