Massimo Florio

Massimo Florio is Professor of Public Economics at the University of Milan. He is the author of The Great Divestiture and coeditor of The Economics of Infrastructure Provisioning (both published by the MIT Press).

  • Investing in Science

    Investing in Science

    Social Cost-Benefit Analysis of Research Infrastructures

    Massimo Florio

    A proposal for using cost-benefit analysis to evaluate the socioeconomic impact of public investment in large scientific projects.

    Large particle accelerators, outer space probes, genomics platforms: all are scientific enterprises managed through the new form of the research infrastructure, in which communities of scientists collaborate across nations, universities, research institutions, and disciplines. Such large projects are often publicly funded, with no accepted way to measure the benefits to society of these investments. In this book, Massimo Florio suggests the use of cost-benefit analysis (CBA) to evaluate the socioeconomic impact of public investment in large and costly scientific projects.

    The core concept of CBA of any infrastructure is to undertake the consistent intertemporal accounting of social welfare effects using the available information. Florio develops a simple framework for such accounting in the research infrastructure context and then offers a systematic analysis of the benefits in terms of the social agents involved. He measures the benefits to scientists, students, and postdoctoral researchers; the effect on firms of knowledge spillovers; the benefits to users of information technology and science-based innovation; the welfare effects on the general public of cultural services provided by RIs; and the willingness of taxpayers to fund scientific knowledge creation. Finally, Florio shows how these costs and benefits can be expressed in the form of stochastic net present value and other summary indicators.

    • Hardcover $60.00
  • The Economics of Infrastructure Provisioning

    The Economics of Infrastructure Provisioning

    The Changing Role of the State

    Arnold Picot, Massimo Florio, Nico Grove, and Johann Kranz

    The complexities of financing, installing, implementing, and regulating public infrastructures, including empirical research, analytical models, and theoretical insights.

    Infrastructures—tangible, intangible, and institutional public facilities, from bridges to health care—are a vital precondition for economic and societal wellbeing. There has been an increasing awareness that we cannot rely on market forces for infrastructure investment and maintenance. In this volume, experts from Europe, North and South America, and Asia examine the complexities of financing, installing, implementing, and regulating public infrastructures. Their contributions span a range of methodological approaches, including historical and empirical research, analytical models, theoretical analysis, and sector and regional case studies; they consider the economics of infrastructure provisioning by government, through private-public partnerships, and privatization arrangements.

    The book first treats general investment, growth, and policy issues, and then offers sector-specific analyses of transportation, energy, telecommunications, and water infrastructures. The chapters cover topics that include the evolution of historical infrastructure; the relationships between the state and private finance in funding and financing infrastructure; and the relevance of infrastructure for economic growth.

    ContributorsJulio C. Aguirre, Laure Athias, Stephen J. Bailey, Sumedha Bajar, Biswa Nath Bhattacharyay, Federico Boffa, Daniel Danau, Sumit S. Deole, Balázs Egert, Massimo Florio, Stephan Fretz, Asmae El Gallaa, Marco Giorgino, Hugh Goldsmith, Nico Grove, Markus Hofmann, Lynne Kiesling, Johann Kranz, Antonio Nunez, Arnold Picot, Michael Pollitt, Olivier Crespi Reghizzi, Martina Santandrea, Stéphane Straub, Annalisa Vinella

    • Hardcover $37.00
  • The Great Divestiture

    The Great Divestiture

    Evaluating the Welfare Impact of the British Privatizations, 1979-1997

    Massimo Florio

    The privatization carried out under the Thatcher and Major governments in Britain has been widely (although not universally) considered a success, and has greatly influenced the privatization of state industries in the transition economies of Eastern Europe. Massimo Florio's systematic analysis is the first comprehensive treatment of the overall welfare impact of this broad national policy of divestiture. Using the tools of social cost-benefit analysis, Florio assesses the effect of privatization on consumers, taxpayers, firms, shareholders, and workers. His conclusion may be surprising to some; his findings suggest that the changeover to private ownership per se had little effect on long-term trends in prices and productivity in Britain and contributed to regressive redistribution.

    After historical and theoretical overviews of privatization and a look at macroeconomic trends in the Thatcher-Major era, Florio considers in detail the microeconomic effects of British privatization on several key groups. In successive chapters, he examines firms and productivity changes; shareholders' windfall gains and evidence of underpricing and outperformance in privatized companies; workers, management, and changes in industrial relations; consumers and the quantity and quality of goods after the change to public ownership; and taxpayers and the interplay between privatization and tax reform. He follows these chapters with a case study of British Telecom—significant not only because it was the largest divestiture of the period but also because of its influence on subsequent telecommunications privatization elsewhere. The final chapter considers the overall quantitative impact of the Thatcher-Major privatization on all sectors and its relationship with regulation and liberalization. The Great Divestiture not only offers an exhaustive analysis of the effects of the British process of privatization but also illustrates a method of inquiry and a testable research approach that could prove to be useful in similar studies of other countries.

    • Hardcover $45.00
    • Paperback $30.00