The Ruling Class

The Ruling Class

X European Conference

24 May 2008


The Foundation Ing. Rodolfo Debenedetti celebrated its 10th anniversary.

The X European Conference of the Fondazione Ing. Rodolfo Debenedetti focused on the Italian “ruling class”, i.e. Italian managers and politicians. Two teams of experts worked on two reports that were presented during the conference, on May 24th 2008.

FIRST REPORT: (download)

The first team is coordinated by Antonio Merlo (University of Pennsylvania). Other participants are: Vincenzo Galasso (IGIER-Università Bocconi), Massimiliano Landi (Singapore Management University) and Andrea Mattozzi (California Institute of Tecnology).
The aim of this research project is to look at the job market of politicians, playing particular attention on their working career before, during and after transitions into the Parliament. In particular, the career profiles of Italian politicians in the post-war period will be analysed. An ad-hoc data collection is currently being undertaken in order to collect detailed information on all politicians who have been elected to the Italian Parliament between 1948 and 2008. Data encompass two institutional regimes: the First Republic (1948-1993) and the Second Republic (1993-present), characterized by different electoral rules and party structures. After providing a comprehensive view of the career profiles of Italian politicians over the entire sample period, the authors will highlight the major differences between the First and the Second Republic. They will also compare the career paths of Italian legislators to those of the members of the United States Congress.

The report was discussed by Giuliano Amato (European University Institute) and Lucrezia Reichlin (European Central Bank).

SECOND REPORT: (download)

The second team, coordinated by Andrea Prat (London School of Economics), focused on top CEO and middle managers. Other participants are: Oriana Bandiera (London School of Economics), Luigi Guiso (Università di Sassari) and Raffaella Sadun (London School of Economics).

Two ad hoc surveys had been undertaken:

1) Firstly, thanks to the collaboration with Manageritalia (the largest managers´ association in Italy), a survey has been carried out on a significant sample of Italian managers (CEOs, marketing directors, finance directors, etc.). The survey focuses on their career paths, motivations and incentives, and on the features of their working environment.
2) The second survey focused on how top Italian CEOs allocate their working time. Time is a scarce resource: understanding the way top managers use it may shed light on incentives and limits they face during their working activities.

The two surveys were conducted by Erminero&Co, an independent research company specialized in opinion and marketing surveys.

The second report was discussed by Luigi Zingales (Chicago University) and Andrea Guerra (Luxottica CEO).


Roger Abravanel (Director Emeritus McKinsey), Angelo Panebianco (Università di Bologna), Roberto Perotti (IGIER – Bocconi University) and Eric Salmon (Eric Salmon & Partners) will attend the final round table discussion.