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The Internal Heterogeneity of Industrial Districts in Italy, Brazil and Mexico

Listed author(s):
  • Roberta Rabellotti
  • Hubert Schmitz

RABELLOTTI R. and SCHMITZ H. (1999) The internal heterogeneity of industrial districts in Italy, Brazil and Mexico, Reg. Studies 33 , 97-108. Industrial districts have attracted the attention of development economists in the search for new models of industrial development. Many case studies have shown that clustering helps local enterprises to overcome growth constraints and compete in distant markets. However, empirical studies also reveal shortcomings of the industrial district model. This paper shows that, within the districts, there is enormous heterogeneity by size and performance. Even though clustering firms feed on each other, they vary a great deal in the strategies they employ and the growth they achieve. This internal heterogeneity is investigated for three cases: the shoe industries in Italy, Brazil and Mexico. RABELLOTTI R. et SCHMITZ H. (1999) La heterogeneite interne des zones industrielles en Italie, au Bresil et au Mexique, Reg. Studies 33 , 97-108. Les zones industrielles ont attire l'attention des economistes de developpement a la recherche de nouveaux modeles du developpement industriel. Nombreuses sont les etudes de cas qui ont demontre comment le processus d'agglomeration aide les entreprises locales a surmonter les contraintes de croissance et a prendre pied sur les marches exterieurs. Toujours est-il que les etudes empiriques laissent voir certains points faibles du modele des zones industrielles. Cet article montre la variation importante au sein des zones de la heterogeneite en fonction de la taille et de la performance. Bien que les entreprises agglomerees dependent les unes des autres, elles varient sensiblement pour ce qui est des strategies qu'elles mettent en oeuvre et de la croissance qu'elles realisent. On examine la heterogene ´ite a partir de trois etudes de cas: a savoir, l'industrie de la chaussure en Italie, au Bresil et au Mexique. RABELLOTTI R. und SCHMITZ H. (1999) Die interne Ungleichartigkeit von Industriegebieten in Italien, Brasilien und Mexiko, Reg. Studies 33 , 97-108. Industriegebiete haben die Aufmerksamkeit von Wirtschaftswissenschaftlern mit besonderem Interesse in Entwicklungsfragen auf sich gezogen, die auf der Suche nach neuen Modellen der industriellen Entwicklung sind. Viele Fallstudien haben bereits aufgezeigt, dass Kluster den Unternehmen am Orte helfen, Wachstumsbeschrankungen zu uberwinden und in entfernten Markten zu konkurrien. Empirische Studien zeigen allerdings auch Mangel des Industriegebietsmodells auf. Dieser Aufsatz zeigt, dass es innerhalb der Gebiete enorme Unterschiede in Unternehmensgrosse und Leistung gibt. Obschon Firmen in Klustern sich gegenseitig unterstutzen, unterscheiden sie sich sehr in den Strategien, die zur Anwendung gelangen, und im Wachstum, das sie erreichen. Es werden drei Falle interner Ungleichartigkeit untersucht: die Schuhindustrien in Italien, Brasilien und Mexico.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Regional Studies.

Volume (Year): 33 (1999)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 97-108

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Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:33:y:1999:i:2:p:97-108
DOI: 10.1080/00343409950122909
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  1. Rabellotti, Roberta, 1995. "Is there an "industrial district model"? Footwear districts in Italy and Mexico compared," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 29-41, January.
  2. Schmitz, Hubert, 1995. "Small shoemakers and fordist giants: Tale of a supercluster," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 9-28, January.
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