Abstract - EN
In a world in which capitalist corporations produce vast negative externalities, the present paper discusses first the comparative advantages of cooperatives in humanizing the economy with
their positive externalities. In the second part of the paper, the case of Emilia-Romagna, a flourishing region of Northern Italy where a large amount of cooperatives are active in many sectors, is analysed, with three aims: 1. offering a quantitative picture of the presence of cooperatives in the region; 2. showing how cooperatives contribute largely to the economic success of the region 3. illustrating the conditions which have allowed the special flourishing of cooperatives. The Emilia-Romagna case shows that cooperatives, besides producing effectively many goods and services for their members, play a strategic role for the entire market place where they reach a critical mass, by making the business world more people-centered.