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Traditional Industrial Districts in the Face of Globalization: The Case of the Marche Footwear District


  • Eleonora Cutrini
  • Giacinto Micucci
  • Pasqualino Montanaro


This paper studies the case of the Marche footwear districts. Statistical evidence and interviewswith entrepreneurs suggest that the traditional inter-firm relationships within these districtshave significantly changed during the past decade. Some leading firms have been buildingup more exclusive relations with their suppliers, including those abroad, along «buyer-driven»value chains. Moreover, firms have been adopting different strategies, following two main paths:the first is a «focusing-on-quality» strategy, based on upgrading the quality of the goods andinvesting in brands, r&d and specific distribution channels; the second is a «focusing-on-costs»strategy, which aims at minimizing the production costs of a medium-quality range of goods,including outsourcing abroad. This study shows that firms which focused on quality did betterthan others, both in the years before the crisis of 2008-09 and during the recession.

Suggested Citation

  • Eleonora Cutrini & Giacinto Micucci & Pasqualino Montanaro, 2013. "Traditional Industrial Districts in the Face of Globalization: The Case of the Marche Footwear District," L'industria, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 123-158.
  • Handle: RePEc:mul:j0hje1:doi:10.1430/73439:y:2013:i:1:p:123-158

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    Industrial Districts; Footwear Industry; Global Value Chains; Outsourcing;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L67 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Other Consumer Nondurables: Clothing, Textiles, Shoes, and Leather Goods; Household Goods; Sports Equipment
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes


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