On the basis of a panel of manufacturing firms reconstructed by ISTAT in the period 2001-2008, this work aims at examining the influence of the industry, the size the region and the province on the performance of the firms with less than 250 employee in the North East of Italy. The results seem to point to a diminishing importance of sectorial and territorial variables (localization and insertion in an industrial district) in determining the firms’ performance. Ceteris paribus, smaller enterprises have higher profitability. The coefficient of variables linked to the firms’ strategic choices - investments, internationalization, vertical disintegration - vary, according to the measure of profitability and the statistical methods adopted.
Keywords: North East of Italy, Small and Medium Enterprises, Profitability
Jel Code: L 25