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Subcontracting Networks in Industrial Districts: The Electronics Industries of Madrid


  • Ruthrama Rama
  • Deron Ferguson
  • Ana Melero


RAMA R., FERGUSON D. and MELERO A. (2003) Subcontracting networks in industrial districts: the electronics industries of Madrid , Reg. Studies 37 , 71- 88. With the recent introduction of industrial district typologies, the definition of "industrial district' has been extended beyond the classical "flexibly specialized' districts popularized in Italian case studies to include "hub- and-spoke' districts, technology districts and others. Few studies compare lesser known or emerging districts to these models. One difficult issue in the comparison of industrial districts has involved the insufficient identification and inconsistent measurement of interfirm connectedness and "networks'. In this paper, we propose that production subcontracting is a consistent yet relatively unexplored empirical measure of intradistrict connectedness, and that it varies uniformly in its nature and scope across district types. We present a model relating different types of industrial districts to particular subcontracting patterns on the basis of the overall incidence of subcontracting, its directionality, the durability of relationships, producers' motivations for externalizing production, and other producer characteristics. We then apply our model in assessing the subcontracting patterns we found among a sample of Madrid electronics producers, which we conclude comprise an emerging high-technology district. RAMA R., FERGUSON D. et MELERO A. (2003). Les reseaux de sous- traitants dans les districts industriels: l'electronique a Madrid, Reg. Studies 37 , 71-88. Avec l'introduction recente des typologies des districts industriels, la notion de "district industriel' va au- dela des districts classiques, a savoir specialises de facon souple et vulgarises dans les etudes de cas italiens pour comprendre, parmi d'autres, des districts "rayonnants' et des technopoles. Rares sont les etudes qui comparent des districts moins connus ou naissants a ces modeles. Dans la comparaison des districts industriels, une question importante a aborder a ete la faible identification et la mesure peu methodique de la connectivite interentreprise et des "reseaux'. Cet article cherche a avancer la notion que sous-traiter la production constitue une mesure empirique systematique, pourtant relativement inexploree, de la connectivite des districts, et qu'elle varie de facon uniforme quant a sa nature et a sa portee a travers une typologie de districts. On presente un modele qui cherche a etablir un rapport entre une typologie de districts industriels et des modes de sous-traitance particuliers sur la base de la tendance generale a la sous-traitance, a son orientation, a la solidite des rapports, a la motivation des producteurs quant a l'externalisation de la production, et a d'autres caracteristiques des producteurs. Il s'ensuit une application du modele afin d'evaluer les modes de sous-traitance qui proviennent d'un echantillon de producteurs dans l'electronique a Madrid, qui represente une technopole naissante. RAMA R., FERGUSON D. und MELERO A. (2003) Weitervergebende Netzwerke in Industriegebieten: die Elektronikindustrien von Madrid, Reg. Studies 37 , 71-88. Dank der kurzlich vorgenommenen Einfuhrung typologischer Bezeichnungen fur Industriegebiete ist der Begriff "Industriegebiet' uber klassische "elastisch spezialisierte' Gebiete hinaus ausgedehnt worden, die sich in italienischen Fallstudien grosser Beliebtheit erfreut hatten, um Nabe-und Speichengebiete, Technologiegebiete und andere miteinzubeziehen. Nur wenige Studien stellen Vergleiche zwischen diesen Modellen und weniger bekannten, erst in Entstehung begriffenen Distrikten auf. Es erhebt sich jedoch eine schwierige Frage beim Vergleich von Industriegebieten: die unzureichende Identifizierung und ungleichartige Messung der Verflechtung von Firmen und " Netzwerken'. In diesem Aufsatz wird vorgeschlagen, Weitervergebung von Produktion als ein folgerichtiges, doch verhaltnismassig unerforschtes empirisches Mass zwischengebietlicher Verflechtung aufzufassen, das seiner Natur und Umfang nach gleichmassige Abweichungen uber Gebietstypen hinweg unterworfen ist. Es wird ein Modell vorgestellt, das verschiedene Industriegebietstypen zu weitervergebenden Mustern in Verbindung setzt, und zwar auf der Grundlage des Gesamtvorkommens von Weitervergebung, seiner Ausrichtung, Dauerhaftigkeit der Beziehungen, Motivation zur Verlagerung der Produktion nach Aussen und anderen Herstellereigenschaften. Das Modell wird dann dazu benutzt, die Weitervergebungsmuster einzuschatzen, die sich in Madrid bei einer unter Herstellern elektronischer Gerate durchgefuhrten Stichprobe ergaben, und daraus den Schluss zu ziehen, dass diese em neu aufkommendes Hochtechnologebiet darstellen.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruthrama Rama & Deron Ferguson & Ana Melero, 2003. "Subcontracting Networks in Industrial Districts: The Electronics Industries of Madrid," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(1), pages 71-88.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:37:y:2003:i:1:p:71-88
    DOI: 10.1080/0034340022000033411

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    Cited by:

    1. Holl, Adelheid, 2008. "Production subcontracting and location," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 299-309, May.
    2. Antonietti, Roberto & Cainelli, Giulio & Lupi, Claudio, 2013. "Vertical disintegration and spatial co-localization: The case of Kibs in the metropolitan region of Milan," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 360-363.
    3. Davide Antonioli & Massimiliano Mazzanti & Sandro Montresor & Paolo Pini, 2015. "Outsourcing and Firm Productivity in a Specific Local Production System: Evidence from Reggio Emilia (Italy)," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 292-320, June.
    4. Roberto Antonietti & Giulio Cainelli, 2011. "Geographic concentration and vertical disintegration in KIBS: evidence from the metropolitan area of Milan," Openloc Working Papers 1105, Public policies and local development.
    5. Roberto Antonietti & Maria Rosaria Ferrante & Riccardo Leoncini, 2016. "Local market size, social capital and outsourcing: evidence from Emilia Romagna," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 243-260, June.
    6. Joana Almodovar & Aurora A.C. Teixeira, 2014. "Assessing the Importance of Local Supporting Organizations in the Automotive Industry: A Hybrid Dynamic Framework of Innovation Networks," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(4), pages 841-865, April.
    7. Michel Barabel & Isabelle Huault & Olivier Meier, 2007. "Changing Nature and Sustainability of the Industrial District Model: The Case of Technic Valley in France," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(4), pages 595-620.
    8. Adelheid Holl & Rafael Pardo & Ruth Rama, 2010. "Just-in-Time Manufacturing Systems, Subcontracting and Geographic Proximity," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(5), pages 519-533.
    9. Roberto Antonietti & Maria Rosaria Ferrante & Riccardo Leoncini, 2014. "Trust your neighbour. Industrial relatedness, social capital and outsourcing," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1403, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Jan 2014.
    10. José Antonio Belso-Martínez & F. Xavier Molina-Morales, 2011. "The drivers of the open district development: a social capital approach," Regional Science Policy & Practice, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 49-70, June.
    11. Antonio Fuster Olivares & Jose Miguel Giner Pérez & MªJesús Santa María Beneyto, 2011. "Identification Of Technological Districts: The Case Of Spain," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1541, European Regional Science Association.
    12. Roberto Antonietti & Giulio Cainelli, 2012. "Urban size and KIBS vertical disintegration: Evidence from Lombardy," ERSA conference papers ersa12p666, European Regional Science Association.


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