IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Three Generations of Industrial districts


  • Bellandi, Marco

    (Università degli Studi di Firenze)

  • De Propris , Lisa

    (University of Birmingham)


The paper presents a theoretical framework for understanding the evolution of industrial districts from Marshall’s conceptualisation to today’s realities and theorisations of the industrial district as model of industrial organization and development. We discuss three generation of industrial districts: the first generations of districts were the seedbeds for the first industrial revolution. The second generations corresponded to the re-emergence of industrial districts in advanced and industrialised countries during the second half of the twentieth century, after the golden age of mass production. The current and third generation is being revealed resorting to scholarly observation. We will argue that each generation of industrial districts have emerged and grown in correspondence with specific technological, institutional and market conditions. Some evidence from the Italian case is presented.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:invreg:0294

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Neil Hart, 2009. "External and Internal Economies," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Industrial Districts, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Joan Trullén & Rafael Boix & Vittorio Galletto, 2013. "An insight on the unit of analysis in urban research," Chapters,in: Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Urban Economies, chapter 10, pages 235-266 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Fulvio Coltorti, 2013. "Italian Industry, Decline or Transformation? A Framework," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(12), pages 2037-2077, December.
    4. Jose-Luis Hervas-Oliver & Rafael Boix-Domenech, 2013. "The Economic Geography of the Meso-global Spaces: Integrating Multinationals and Clusters at the Local--Global Level," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(7), pages 1064-1080, July.
    5. Marco Bellandi, 2007. "Industrial Discrtricts and Waves of Industrialization: A Rich and Contested Terrain," SCIENZE REGIONALI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2007(2), pages 7-33.
    6. Lombardi, Mauro, 2003. "The evolution of local production systems: the emergence of the "invisible mind" and the evolutionary pressures towards more visible "minds"," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1443-1462, September.
    7. Lisa De Propris & Nigel Driffield & Stefano Menghinello, 2005. "local industrial systems and the location of FDI in Italy," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 105-121.
    8. Arnaldo Bagnasco, 2009. "The Governance of Industrial Districts," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Industrial Districts, chapter 17 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Giacomo Becattini & Marco Bellandi & Gabi Del Ottati & Fabio Sforzi, 2003. "From Industrial Districts to Local Development," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2884.
    10. Merlo, Elisabetta & Polese, Francesca, 2006. "Turning Fashion into Business: The Emergence of Milan as an International Fashion Hub," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 80(03), pages 415-447, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    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. 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.

    More about this item


    industrial district; manufacturing; local economic development;

    JEL classification:

    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • R30 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - General
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ris:invreg:0294. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Julieta Llungo-Ortíz). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.