In the original formulation of varieties of capitalism (VOC), Italy, along with other Latin countries (e.g., France, Spain and Portugal), is grouped in an ambiguous position that deserves neither the label of liberal market economies (LMEs) nor that of coordinated market economies (CMEs) (Hall and Soskice 2001). These former nations seem to have been characterized above all by the central role of the state, which intervened more frequently and in a different way than in LMEs and CMEs. Thus, a third variety, ‘state-influenced market economies’ (SMEs), has been distinguished to account for the experience of these countries. In SMEs, the state plays a central role in coordinating inter-firm relations and shaping labor regulation (Schmidt 2002).