Trade credit and textiles manufacturers’ behaviour during the Great Depression in the Kingdom of Italy: Insights from the analysis of bankruptcy proceedings accounting data

Author/s Carmelo Marisca, Nicola Rappazzo, Gustavo Barresi
Publishing Year 2023 Issue 2022/2 Language English
Pages 23 P. 91-113 File size 511 KB
DOI 10.3280/CCA2022-002005
DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation click here

Below, you can see the article first page

If you want to buy this article in PDF format, you can do it, following the instructions to buy download credits

Article preview

FrancoAngeli is member of Publishers International Linking Association, Inc (PILA), a not-for-profit association which run the CrossRef service enabling links to and from online scholarly content.

Introduction: The focus of this paper is on textiles industry dynamics in the King-dom of Italy during the Great Depression. Despite the crisis and the spread of bankruptcies, the textile sector experienced an almost constant rate of growth, thanks also to trade credit granted by manufacturers. Aim of the work: Through the analysis of bankruptcy proceedings accounting data, the authors tried to catch how the geographical localisation of customers (small bankrupt retailers) has influenced the grant of trade credit by textile manufacturers. Methodological approach: This work is based on the exam of financial information collected by the "Unione Commercianti in Manifatture di Milano", in the period 1898-1902, over more than 1,700 bankruptcy proceedings in the textiles industry. For 512 cases, accounting data were reported in the journal of the Union. The au-thors have aggregated at national, macro-regional and regional level accounting data of the procedures. Main findings: The analysis highlights that the growth of textile industry was ac-companied by a wide fragmentation of trade credits, pushing manufactures to dif-ferentiate their behaviour according to the geographical localisation of customers. The analysis also offered some interesting insight about textiles sector dynamics in the Kingdom of Italy, at national, macro-regional and regional level. Originality: The paper permits to enlarge the understanding of textile industry dy-namics during the Great Depression, adopting an approach overlooked in litera-ture.

Keywords: textile industry, Kingdom of Italy, bankruptcy procedures, accounting analysis, trade credit

  1. Aghion P., Hart O., Moore J. (1992). The Economics of Bankruptcy Reform. Journal of Law, Economics and Organisation, 8: 523-546,
  2. Avagliano L. (1977). Un Imprenditore e una Fabbrica Fuori dal Comune: Alessandro Rossi e il Lanificio di Schio. In: G. Mori (edited by). L’industrializzazione in Italia (1861-1900), 333-345. Bologna: il Mulino,
  3. Barresi G., Marisca C. Rappazzo N. (2021). The role of accounting analysis in bankruptcy proceedings in the Kingdom of Italy. Rivista della Corte dei Conti, 76(S1): 513-522.
  4. Cafagna L. (1977). La rivoluzione industriale in Italia, 1830-1900. In: G. Mori (edited by). L’industrializzazione in Italia (1861-1900), 91-105. Bologna: il Mulino,
  5. Caizzi B. (1965). Storia dell’industria italiana. Dal XVIII secolo ai giorni nostri. Torino: Editrice Torinese.
  6. Cardini A. (1981). Stato liberale e protezionismo in Italia (1890-1900). Bologna: il Mulino,
  7. Carmona S., Ezzamel M., Gutiérrez F. (2006). Accounting history research: traditional and new accounting history perspectives. De Computis-Revista Española de Historia de la Contabilidad, 1(1): 24-53,
  8. Carnegie G. D., Potter B. N. (2000). Publishing patterns in specialist accounting history journals in the English language, 1996-1999. Accounting Historians Journal, 27(2): 177-198, DOI: 10.2308/0148-4184.27.2.177
  9. Castronovo V. (1980). L’industria italiana dall’ottocento a oggi. Milano: Mondadori Editore.
  10. Castronovo V. (1977). Formazione e Sviluppo del ceto imprenditoriale piemontese nel secolo XIX. In: G. Mori (edited by). L’industrializzazione in Italia (1861-1900), 183-199. Bologna: il Mulino,
  11. Catalfo P., Barresi G., Marisca C. (2015). Lo stato di avanzamento della contabilità pubblica nel Regno delle Due Sicilie nella prospettiva culturale di Francesco Dias “Uffiziale di carico nel Real Ministero di Stato delle Finanze.” Contabilità e cultura aziendale. Accounting and cultures, 15, 2: 7-26,
  12. Chandler R. (2019). Auditing and Corporate Governance in Nineteenth Century Britain: The Model of the Kingston Cotton Mill. Accounting History Review, 29, 2: 269-286, DOI: 10.1080/21552851.2019.1636183
  13. Clough S. B. (1965). Storia dell’Economia Italiana dal 1861 ad oggi. Bologna: Cappelli Editore.
  14. Confalonieri A. (1974). Banca e industria in Italia 1894-1906. Volume 1, Le premesse: Dall’abolizione del corso forzoso alla caduta del Credito Mobiliare. Milano: Banca Commerciale Italiana,
  15. Corbino E. (1962). L’Economia Italiana dal 1860 al 1960. Bologna: Zanichelli Editore.
  16. Coronella S. (2003). Il credito commerciale nell’economia dell’azienda. Profili gestionali e di bilancio. Milano: Giuffrè.
  17. Coronella S., Risaliti G. (2017). Profili economico-aziendali dei crediti commerciali. RIREA.
  18. Di Martino P. (2008). The historical evolution of bankruptcy law in England, the US and Italy up to 1939: Determinants of institutional change and structural differences. In: Gratzer K and Stiefel D (eds). History of Insolvency and Bankruptcy from an International Perspective. Söderstörn: Södertörn Academic Studies, 263-279.
  19. Di Martino P. (2005). Approaching disaster: personal bankruptcy legislation in Italy and England, c. 1880-1939. Business History, 47, 1: 23-43, DOI: 10.1080/0007679042000267451
  20. Di Martino P., Vasta M. (2010). Companies’ insolvency and ‘the nature of the firm’ in Italy, 1920s-70s 1. The Economic History Review, 63, 1: 137-164,
  21. Einaudi L. (1900). Un Principe Mercante: Studio Sulla Espansione Coloniale Italiana. Torino: Bocca.
  22. Fenoaltea S. (2000). The growth of Italy’s wool industry, 1861-1913: A statistical reconstruction. Rivista di Storia Economica, 16, 2: 119-145.
  23. Fenoaltea S. (2001a). The growth of Italy’s cotton industry, 1861-1913: A statistical reconstruction. Rivista di Storia Economica, 17, 2: 139-171.
  24. Fenoaltea S. (2001b). La crescita industriale delle regioni d’Italia dall’Unità alla Grande Guerra, Banca d’Italia, Quaderni dell’Ufficio Ricerche Storiche, 1: 75.
  25. Fenoaltea S. (2003). La formazione dell’Italia industriale: consensi, dissensi, ipotesi. Rivista di Storia Economica, 19, 3: 341-358.
  26. Fenoaltea S. (2004). Textile Production in Italy’s Regions, 1861-1913. Rivista di Storia Economica, 20, 2: 145-174.
  27. Frascani P. (2012). Le crisi economiche in Italia: dall’Ottocento a oggi. Bari: Gius. Laterza & Figli.
  28. Gerschenkron A. (1955). Notes of the rate of industrial growth in Italy, 1881-1913. Journal of Economic History, 15, 4: 360-375,
  29. Gratzer K. (2008). Default and imprisonment for debt in Sweden: From the lost chances of a ruined life to the lost capital of a bankrupt company. In: Gratzer K. and Stiefel D. (eds). History of Insolvency and Bankruptcy from an International Perspective. Södertörn: Södertörn Academic Studies, 15-59.
  30. Hautcœur P. C., Di Martino P. (2013). The functioning of bankruptcy law and practices in European perspective (ca. 1880-1913). Enterprise & Society, 14, 3: 579-605.
  31. Hernández Esteve E. (2010). Accounting History, a Privileged way to Approach Historical Research. An Illustrative case: The War of France and the Holy See against Spain, 1556-1559. De Computis Revista Española de Historia de la Contabilidad. Spanish Journal of Accounting History, 7, 13: 162-190,
  32. Higgins D., Toms S. (1997). Firm structure and financial performance: the Lancashire textile industry, c. 1884-c. 1960. Accounting, Business & Financial History, 7(2): 195-232, DOI: 10.1080/095852097330711
  33. ISTAT, Protests and Bankruptcies (1881-1900), Italian National Statistics Institute, on-line historical series, -- available at
  34. Labardin P. (2011). Accounting prescription and practice in nineteenth-century France. An analysis of bankruptcy cases. Accounting History Review, 21, 3: 263-283, DOI: 10.1080/21552851.2011.616717
  35. Labardin P. (2013). Accounting Valuation in Nineteenth-Century French Bankruptcies. Accounting History, 18, 3: 391-414, DOI: 10.1177/1032373213487976
  36. Lemarchand Y. (1994). A propos des dispositions comptables de l’Ordonnance de 1673. Revue de droit comptable, 3: 17-37.
  37. Luzzatto G. (1963). L’economia italiana dal 1861 al 1914. Milano: Banca Commerciale Italiana.
  38. Marisca C., Barresi G., Rappazzo N. (2022) Industry self-regulatory institutions, accounting and imitation mechanisms: the case of the ‘Unione Commercianti in Manifatture di Milano’. Accounting History Review, 32, 1: 31-57, DOI: 10.1080/21552851.2022.2089703.
  39. Nobolo A., Guarini E., Magli F. (2013). Il processo di unificazione del Regno d’Italia e l’armonizzazione dei preesistenti sistemi contabili. Contabilità e cultura aziendale. Accounting and cultures, 13, 1: 63-90,
  40. Payne P. L. (1978). The Early Scottish Limited Companies, 1856-1895: An Historical and Analytical Survey.
  41. Penserini F. (1904). I Fallimenti in Italia nel triennio 1900-1902. Rivista di diritto commerciale, industriale e marittimo, (1): 425-428.
  42. Planas J., Saguer E. (2005). Accounting records of large rural estates and the dynamics of agriculture in Catalonia (Spain), 1850-1950. Accounting, Business & Financial History, 15, 2: 171-185, DOI: 10.1080/09585200500121207
  43. Reis J., Battilossi S. (2016). Lobbying, Institutional Inertia, and the Efficiency Issue in State Regulation: Evidence from the Evolution of Bankruptcy Laws and Procedures in Italy, England, and the US (c. 1870-1939). In State and Financial Systems in Europe and the USA (pp. 57-70).
  44. Rezaee Z. (1998). Studies in accounting history: Tradition and innovation for the twenty-first century Atsuo Tsuji and Paul Garner, editors greenwood Press, 1995, 280 pp. Atlantic Economic Journal, 26, 2: 214-221,
  45. Rodger R. G. (1985). Business Failure in Scotland 1839-1913. Business History, 27, 1: 75-99, DOI: 10.1080/00076798500000005
  46. Solar P. M., Lyons J. S. (2011). The English cotton spinning industry, 1780-1840, as revealed in the columns of the London Gazette. Business History, 53, 3: 302-323, DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2011.565510
  47. Unione Commercianti in Manifatture (1898-1902). Il Giornale dell’Unione Commercianti in Manifatture. Milano: Tip. Agnelli, 1-143 pp. Available at Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense (Coll. Giorn. R. 0085; Inv. Per 900002565).
  48. Walker S. P. (2004). Conflict, collaboration, fuzzy jurisdictions and partial settlements. Accountants, lawyers and insolvency practice during the late 19th century. Accounting and Business Research, 34, 3: 247-265, DOI: 10.1080/00014788.2004.9729967
  49. Walker S. P. (2005). Accounting in History. Accounting Historians Journal, 32, 2: 233-259, DOI: 10.2308/0148-4184.32.2.233

  • Italian accounting history studies in international journals: Insights and possible future directions Nicola Rappazzo, Carmelo Marisca, Luisa Pulejo, in Accounting History /2023 pp.490
    DOI: 10.1177/10323732231179509

Carmelo Marisca, Nicola Rappazzo, Gustavo Barresi, Trade credit and textiles manufacturers’ behaviour during the Great Depression in the Kingdom of Italy: Insights from the analysis of bankruptcy proceedings accounting data in "CONTABILITÀ E CULTURA AZIENDALE" 2/2022, pp 91-113, DOI: 10.3280/CCA2022-002005