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Rethinking the industrial district: 35 years later

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  • Sforzi, Fabio

    () (University of Parma)

Abstract

The year 2014 marked a double anniversary: the 35th and 25th anniversaries of the publication of two seminal papers of Giacomo Becattini on the industrial district. The first paper (Becattini, 1979) conceptualizes the industrial district as a «unit of investigation», while the second (Becattini, 1989) conceptualizes the industrial district as a «model of production». Between the two papers there is a mutual dependence. The industrial district as a «model of production» deprived of the industrial district as a «unit of investigation» loses its originality as a way of interpreting economic change and becomes merely «one type of a cluster». This paper deals with the relationship between district and cluster, then also between the industrial district as a singular theoretical construct and the many industrial districts described by empirical investigations, and concludes with some remarks on the topicality of the industrial district.

Suggested Citation

  • Sforzi, Fabio, 2015. "Rethinking the industrial district: 35 years later," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 32, pages 11-29.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:invreg:0290
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gabi Dei Ottati, 2014. "A transnational fast fashion industrial district: an analysis of the Chinese businesses in Prato," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(5), pages 1247-1274.
    2. Roberto Basile & Cristiana Donati & Rosanna Pittiglio, 2015. "Agglomeration Economies and Employment Growth in Italy," AIEL Series in Labour Economics,in: Chiara Mussida & Francesco Pastore (ed.), Geographical Labor Market Imbalances. Recent Explanations and Cures, edition 1, chapter 6, pages 121-141 AIEL - Associazione Italiana Economisti del Lavoro.
    3. Bellandi, Marco & De Propris , Lisa, 2015. "Three Generations of Industrial districts," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 32, pages 75-87.
    4. Michael Porter & Christian Ketels, 2009. "Clusters and Industrial Districts: Common Roots, Different Perspectives," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Industrial Districts, chapter 14 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Anna Ferragina & Fernanda Mazzotta, 2015. "Agglomeration economies in Italy: impact on heterogeneous firms’ exit in a multilevel framework," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 42(4), pages 395-440, December.
    6. Belussi , Fiorenza, 2015. "The international resilience of Italian industrial districts/clusters (ID/C) between knowledge re-shoring and manufacturing off (near)-shoring," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 32, pages 89-113.
    7. Sforzi, Fabio & Boix, Rafael, 2015. "What about Industrial District(s) in Regional Science?," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 32, pages 61-73.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:epolin:v:44:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s40812-017-0082-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:spr:epolin:v:44:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s40812-017-0077-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Sue Konzelmann & Frank Wilkinson, 2016. "Co-operation in Production, the Organization of Industry & Productive Systems: A Critical Survey of the 'District' Form of Industrial Organisation & Development," Working Papers wp481, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    industrial district; cluster; regional economics; regional studies; economic history;

    JEL classification:

    • B20 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - General
    • N90 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General

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