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Regions, Nations and Beyond In Marshallian External Economies

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The clearest expressions of Marshallian external economies are found in the life and working of compact industrial districts. However Alfred Marshall did not limit their application to such types of places, nor to their territorial scale. This paper illustrates some important extensions found in Marshall’s works, particularly in Industry and Trade, concerning firstly the advantages accruing to industrial districts within larger industrial regions and national contexts. The concept of a national capital including technical, human and social resources, or of a “Marshallian capital” as Silvio Goglio proposed to call it, plays a pivotal role in suggesting both the common nature of the different expressions and scales of Marshallian external economies, and the possible interrelation between them. Processes and conditions associated by Marshall to either non place-bound or distant trans-local contexts of external economies are considered too. An implicit and open multi-territorial framework emerges. Some of its different meanings are discussed in the conclusions of this paper with the help of interpreta-tions of industrial districts, regions, nations, and global networks developed after Mar-shall, starting from those of Austin Robinson and Giacomo Becattini.

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Paper provided by Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa in its series Working Papers - Economics with number wp2009_13.rdf.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:frz:wpaper:wp2009_13.rdf

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Keywords: External economies; Alfred Marshall; industrial districts; regions and nations;

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  1. Tibor Scitovsky, 1954. "Two Concepts of External Economies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62, pages 143.
  2. Ash Amin & Patrick Cohendet, 2005. "Geographies of Knowledge Formation in Firms," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 465-486.
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