Ignazio Visco: Welcome address – conference on "Ownership, Governance, Management and Firm Performance"

Welcome address by Mr Ignazio Visco, Governor of the Bank of Italy, at the Bank of Italy / CEPR / EIEF conference on "Ownership, Governance, Management and Firm Performance", Online event, 21-22 December 2020.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
21 December 2020
  • It is my pleasure to open this conference on "Ownership, Governance, Managementand Firm Performance" organised by the Bank of Italy together with the Centre for Economic Policy Research and the Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance. This conference bears witness to the Bank of Italy's interest in productivity, the main force behind aggregate economic growth and welfare improvements. 
  • The slowdown of labour productivity observed since the financial crisis of 2008–09 clearly has a global dimension. Many, possibly complementary, explanations of this phenomenon have been advanced. Demographic developments and the evolution of technical change are certainly crucial determinants of the trends in capital intensity and total factor productivity. On the demand side, the imbalances between saving and investment propensities fuelled by financial instability and protracted uncertainty are often mentioned as culprits of the possible entry into a secular stagnation mode.
  • Against the background provided by the most likely reasons behind this sluggish trend, the policy debate has focused on the identification of possible remedies to contrast it. Increasing and improving physical infrastructures, investing in knowledge and skills development, favouring innovation through the adoption of new technologies and supporting the reallocation of resources between firms and sectors are all triggers than can help to revitalise our economies.