In accordance with the common sense, efficiency is the fitness of an action to produce a wanted “effect”, that if we transpose it in economy and we  neglect the marginal efficiency of the Keynes capital, it assumes four principal meanings: efficiency of the whole economic system, allocative, not allocative, of productive process [1]. Here we intend to mention to the last one with extension from the single enterprise to the affiliation sector, even to affirm  the degree of dependence from the other.

Every definition is always a limitation, but it is the price  to pay for the overcoming of the indeterminate. Read in the “Economy Dictionary” of Sergius Ricossa: «… two factories that, for hypothesis, have the same dimension, the same plants and machineries, and the same manpower, but give productions diverged in quantity (not in quality) is otherwise efficient; and, well understood, that with the greater production is the more efficient. We can see here a connection among efficiency and productivity. Some authors, in fact, equate the two concepts; other employ the term of efficiency to identify the global productivity, of all the productive phenomena, and they reserve the productivity term to the cases when they consider  an only productive factor for time ( the work, for example ), so we can say productivity of labour, but efficiency of the factory» [2]. This definition, but even other analogous, they stimulate the correlated questions: are they efficient the manufacturing Italian enterprises, even understood as sector? If they are in unsatisfactory way: why?

In a closed economy (the monopoly would can be understood as a case of closed economy) and on the macroeconomic plan, the inefficiency is a judgment of scarce relief, because produces in prevalence only transfers from groups of economic subjects to other; in case it will suffer from the degree of satisfaction of the consumers and the quality of life or straight the survival famines, et cetera ). But, in an open economy, today straight globalized, the ineffectiveness of a manufacturing enterprise drives to his elimination from the market, because it becomes ready incapability of stand up to competition with the international enterprises of the same sector. The ineffectiveness of a national sector determines the rapid disappearance of whole productions. The verification is able stretch to the sectors of a continental area, as the U.E. Think, for example, to many products the European economy has had to abdicate in favor of the “Asian tigers”! From here and at least in part: the phenomena of unemployment common to the economies of the European States. The problem, from microeconomic becomes social and political, because the ineffectiveness is first the effect of social and political causes.

To the first question it is hard to please given an answer, without data, besides difficult  to stand out and to elaborate, and that would impose comparisons with analogous sectors of other observed countries with homogeneity of classification and evaluation. We could  apply to the indirect indicator of the export: if the Italian enterprises continue to export, in spite of the change not more favorable, most probably  have an efficiency, even non clear, that allows this result. Remember however that sell doesn’t want say earn and that even the enterprises in near bankruptcy condition and that government continue to deal too producing losses. The problem is another: the comparison among the ensued and the possible. On this point we have  not uncertainties: the machine of the Italian production is inefficient, because would be able to realize much of more, with advantage for the return in the capital, of the work and of the same fiscal yield. Besides, the economic world crisis of the 2008 not still metabolized, it is an evident test: the Italian economy is not shown some one of the more rapid to the adjustment imposed by the crisis, perhaps even because are short in the recent suitable past of investments in capital, but, above all in organization.

Here appears the second question: why the ineffectiveness? It needs distinguish the external causes to the enterprise and to the sector from that inside. To understand the first thing is opportune to notice that in the actual economies it is increasing the weight of the services that the manufacturing enterprise has to acquire to the outside and, in Italy, those offered in regime of monopoly from the State. It is obvious that the ineffectiveness of the government services, that it is expressed by the greater costs or in the lower quality than those enjoyed by the competing foreign enterprises, it is reflected on the productions costs and increases the fiscal pressure, because the ineffectiveness of the government machine becomes, in short, a hidden tax. We think, for example, to the inadequacy of the transports and of the road network, above all to the North Italy; to the inefficiencies of our postal service; to the greater cost of the electric power produced and distributed by Enel; to the price of the oil products overloaded by taxes; to the greater costs of the banking services and to the systems of the payments; to the shackles of the bureaucratic services; etcetera. This phenomena go into the costs of the enterprises, which are forced to sustain them, with worsening of their competitiveness, if we make the hypothesis that the prices formation occur with the criterion of the mark-up [3], or with reduction of the profit or with increase in the losses, if we  think with greater realism and at least for the Italian enterprises rarely maker-price [4], that the price on market  is done by the international competition. Of course there are some causes inside the enterprise and to the sector: the ability and the promptness of the enterprises to take the opportunities of the markets; their organization; the preparation of the management; the professionalism of the entrepreneur; the know-how; the efficiency-x [5], conditions that can be summed up in good  part in the O.I.  factor [6].

It may be well-grounded the suspect that they have had greater weight the external causes to the sector, because if there were even a general presence of that inside, the Italian industry would not exist more and, fortunately, this it may not still say. That confirms the hypothesis: the diffused recognition of the foreign operators of the technical abilities (that political is other thing!) of our entrepreneurs. In France they call them les italiens, with a mixture of contempt and of fear, as shows, for example, the industry of the sparkling wines. Irony of the fate of the transalpine people: for centuries are gotten drunk on their “bollicine”, then les italiens are came and the cisalpine “bollicine” has to  stop their Napoleonic intoxications.

How we can note, the problem of the ineffectiveness of sector, effect of political and social causes, it returns to the public powers the squeaks that they is provoked. On the end  is the whole collectivity to pay in terms of unemployment and failed growth or greater poverty. The trumpeted welfare state becomes then the illusion of the poor men and the generalization of the no-profit, that much is filling the mouth of the simple souls and of the sly persons, that drive them.

But, Italy is rich of experts of the chatter, capable of diverting the attention from the true problems, till the people believes them or simulated to believe . In the meantime it is better speak of the maximum systems: a kind of efficiency of the “blah blah”, that it has the advantage to leave always the things and the men as and where they are.

[1]  G. Bannock, R.E. Baxter, R. Rees, Economic Dictionary, Laterza, 1977, entry “efficiency”.

[2]  S. Ricossa, Economic Dictionary, UTET, 1982, pag. 173. Considering that a ” function of the production ” himself resolves in a mere intellectual exercise, is not a case that Ricossa, well-versed in mathematical, but enough of pragmatic economist, doesn’t give a definition that would drag with itself a function of production.

[3] The general that the market price is determinate by the enterprise adding to the costs a percentage of profit is an obsession of the teacher. Paolo Sylos-Labini, that saw oligopolies everywhere, forgetting that the holism of the economy she/he/it/you has swept away them to a large extent, above all in the sector of the production of goods. They see: M. Marrelli, direct taxation and indirect in a distributive model of inflation, in “problems of public finance”, Giuffrè, 1976, pag. 153; S. Ricossa, dictionary of economy, Utet, 1982, pages 226 and 375; P. Samuelson, economy, Zanichelli, 1987, pag. 523.

[4]  For the notion of price maker  seen Tibor Scitovsky, Economic intuitions and theories, in “Mints and credit”, 1991, n. 175, pag. 281.

[5]  “Economy Encyclopedia Garzanti, voice “efficiency-x”: «contribution to production creditable to factors not considered among the inputs in the function of production. The fact that to given quantity of input it corresponds a maximum quantity of output is able depend from different circumstances: the technological knowledges in narrow sense are only approximate, the executives of the enterprise have borders of choice in the gotten ready the organization of the activities of the enterprise, the contracts of work specifies only partially the tasks of the dependents, and so away. From that it achieves that the enterprise when you are for managing and dependent, more motivations to intensify respectively the efforts for the acquisition of technical-organizational knowledges and that working will enjoy, to parity of input, of a greater product. And is this greater output that measures the efficiency-x of the enterprise».

[6] CRIVELLINI, “Productivity and competitiveness in the Italian industry”, pag. 27: «the limitation of O.I. resources determines a substitution effect (trade-off ) among: growth of the efficiency and increase of the productive factors employees. That is when the entrepreneur is insufficient is even are able increase employments of productive factors, but the productivity increase, on the contrary over a certain point it diminishes because not there is any that coordinates the factors».