This paper studies the determinants of efficiency in the Italian construction industry. Three factors are analysed in depth: firm size, business segment and human resource quality. Data envelopment analysis (DEA) scores (CRS, VRS and SCALE) are measured and then regressed with a Tobit model. To enhance total efficiency, Italian companies firms need to grow, choose a profitable business segment and recruit highly skilled management. The results of this paper are of interest to construction companies wishing to increase their efficiency and also to policy makers seeking to mitigate the effects of current financial crisis. This study analyses for the first time the Italian construction industry with DEA methods. Its main findings outline the weaknesses of the industry in a developed country and suggest possible strategies for overcoming the current crisis.
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