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The District and the Global Economy: Exporting versus Foreign Location

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Author Info

  • Basevi, Giorgio
  • Ottaviano, Gianmarco Ireo Paolo

Abstract

This Paper studies the welfare implications of the location decisions of innovative newcomers that, though spinning off an industrial district, may choose whether to locate inside or outside its borders. Even if this choice has always been relevant, globalization has turned the issue, whether to locate inside or outside the district, from an intra- to an inter-national issue. The fear is delocation, that is, the implosion of the district due to the flight of innovative newcomers to distant locations. This negative effect could offset the benefits that the district reaps both in terms of cost reduction through foreign production in low wage countries and in terms of access to new markets. We address these issues by depicting the industrial district as a centre of innovation where positive local spillovers sustain the endogenous invention of new goods by profit-seeking firms. After invention firms face a crucial choice between reaching distant markets by export or plant delocation. By focusing on market-seeking rather than cost-reducing location choices, we argue that, by the very nature of the district, the equilibrium distribution of firms is bound to be inefficient from the point of view of the district as a whole. In particular, firms’ attempts to circumvent trade barriers through delocation slow down the pace of innovation and harm the welfare of the district.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2976.

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Date of creation: Sep 2001
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2976

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Related research

Keywords: delocation; fixed exchange rates; industrial district; regional development; stabilization;

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References

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  1. Martin, Philippe & I.P. Ottaviano, Gianmarco, 1999. "Growing locations: Industry location in a model of endogenous growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 281-302, February.
  2. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  3. Fujita,Masahisa & Thisse,Jacques-Francois, 2002. "Economics of Agglomeration," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521801386, December.
  4. James Love & Stephen Roper, 1999. "The Determinants of Innovation: R & D, Technology Transfer and Networking Effects," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 43-64, August.
  5. Irwin, Douglas A & Klenow, Peter J, 1994. "Learning-by-Doing Spillovers in the Semiconductor Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1200-1227, December.
  6. James D Adams & Adam B Jaffe, 1994. "The Span of the Effect of R&D in the Firm and Industry," Working Papers 94-7, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  7. Soubeyran, Antoine & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1999. "Learning-by-Doing and the Development of Industrial Districts," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 156-176, January.
  8. Conti Giuliano & Menghinello Stefano, 1998. "Modelli di impresa e di industria nei contesti di competizione globale: l'internazionalizzazione produttiva dei sistemi locali del made in Italy," L'industria, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 315-348.
  9. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Endogenous Technological Change," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2135, David K. Levine.
  10. Teece, David J, 1977. "Technology Transfer by Multinational Firms: The Resource Cost of Transferring Technological Know-how," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 87(346), pages 242-61, June.
  11. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1992. "Models of Economic Integration and Localized Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 651, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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Cited by:
  1. Alessandra Cassar & Rosella Nicolini, 2003. "Spillovers and growth in a local interaction model," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 574.03, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  2. Stefano Federico & Gaetano Alfredo Minerva, 2005. "Fear of Relocation? Assessing the Impact of Italy’s FDI on Local Employment," Working Papers 102, SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont.

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