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Spatial Agglomeration, Technological Innovations, and Firm Productivity: Evidence from Italian Industrial Districts

  • GIULIO CAINELLI

The aim of this paper is to analyse the impact on firms' productivity of innovative activities and agglomeration effects among firms belonging to Marshallian industrial districts and the possible joint effect of these two forces. We study a sample of 2,821 firms active in the Italian manufacturing industry in the period 1992-1995. Our analysis uses an original data set based on three different Istituto Nazionale di Statistica statistical sources-Community Innovation Survey, Archivio Statistico delle Imprese Attive (Italian Business Register), and Sistema dei Conti delle Imprese (Italian Structural Business Statistics)-to estimate an "augmented" Cobb-Douglas production function to account for the impact of technological innovations and district-specific agglomeration effects on a firm's productivity growth. Our data set allows us to distinguish between product and process innovations, thus, through econometric analysis, we hope to achieve a better understanding of which of these two types of innovative activities benefits most from participation in an industrial district. Our empirical results show that belonging to an industrial district and making product innovations are key factors in the productivity growth of firms and that product innovations appear to have a greater effect on the economic performance of district rather than non-district firms. Copyright (c) 2008 Copyright the Authors. Journal compilation (c) 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc..

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Growth and Change.

Volume (Year): 39 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 414-435

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Handle: RePEc:bla:growch:v:39:y:2008:i:3:p:414-435
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