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Evolution and Relocation in Fashion-led Italian Districts: Evidence from two Case-Studies

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  • Fiorenza Belussi

    ()
    (University of Padova)

  • Alessia Sammarra

    ()
    (University of L'Aquila)

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    Abstract

    The aim of this paper is to contribute to the debate about how, in advanced countries, industrial districts specialised in traditional manufacturing industries evolve as a consequence of new challenges linked to the globalisation process. Using a multiple case study design, the study examines the evolution of two fashion-led Italian districts: the Montebelluna sportswear system and the Vibrata-Tordino-Vomano clothing district. Our findings reveal that cluster firms’ ability to shift from manufacturing to other activities providing higher returns along the global value chain is key to understanding the effect of globalisation and relocation processes on the cluster’s long-term competitiveness. As illustrated in this study, weak learning districts are the most threatened while innovative districts are able to enact a selective process of relocation, substituting outplaced activities with more valuable ones and attracting inward investments.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno" in its series "Marco Fanno" Working Papers with number 0023.

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    Length: 42 pages
    Date of creation: Jul 2006
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:pad:wpaper:0023

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    1. Molina-Morales, F. Xavier & Martinez-Fernandez, M. Teresa, 2004. "How much difference is there between industrial district firms? A net value creation approach," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 473-486, April.
    2. Biggiero, Lucio, 2002. " The Location of Multinationals in Industrial Districts: Knowledge Transfer in Biomedicals," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 111-22, January.
    3. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
    4. Harald Bathelt & Andersand Malmberg & Peter Maskell, 2002. "Clusters and Knowledge Local Buzz, Global Pipelines and the Process of Knowledge Creation," DRUID Working Papers 02-12, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    5. Humphrey, John, 1995. "Industrial reorganization in developing countries: From models to trajectories," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 149-162, January.
    6. Gereffi, Gary, 1999. "International trade and industrial upgrading in the apparel commodity chain," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 37-70, June.
    7. Maskell, Peter & Malmberg, Anders, 1999. "Localised Learning and Industrial Competitiveness," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(2), pages 167-85, March.
    8. Roberta Rabellotti & Hubert Schmitz, 1999. "The Internal Heterogeneity of Industrial Districts in Italy, Brazil and Mexico," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 97-108.
    9. Giuliani, Elisa & Pietrobelli, Carlo & Rabellotti, Roberta, 2005. "Upgrading in Global Value Chains: Lessons from Latin American Clusters," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 549-573, April.
    10. Lazerson, Mark H & Lorenzoni, Gianni, 1999. "The Firms That Feed Industrial Districts: A Return to the Italian," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 235-66, June.
    11. Cantwell, John & Piscitello, Lucia, 2002. "The location of technological activities of MNCs in European regions: The role of spillovers and local competencies," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 69-96.
    12. John Humphrey & Hubert Schmitz, 2002. "How does insertion in global value chains affect upgrading in industrial clusters?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(9), pages 1017-1027.
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    Cited by:
    1. Valentina De Marchi & Joonkoo Lee & Gary Gereffi, 2012. "Globalization, Recession and the Internationalization of Industrial Districts: Experiences from the Italian Gold Jewellery Industry," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0150, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".

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