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Persistence versus Change in the International Specialization Pattern of Italy: How Much Does the 'District Effect' Matter?


  • Alessia Amighini
  • Marinella Leone
  • Roberta Rabellotti


Amighini A., Leone M. and Rabellotti R. Persistence versus change in the international specialization pattern of Italy: how much does the 'district effect' matter?, Regional Studies. This paper investigates the evolution of specialization patterns for the Italian provinces over the period 1995-2005 by analysing the dynamics of the sectoral distribution in the Balassa index of revealed comparative advantages. The results show that underlying a relatively stable distribution of national comparative advantages over time, there are wide variations in local performance: only a few provinces demonstrate any stability in their specialization over the last decade, with the majority showing decreased specialization. A higher average degree of persistence for provinces with districts is found, but no systematic differences between provinces with or without industrial districts. District provinces show wide variation, with a few concentrating on their past comparative strengths, but many diversifying. [image omitted] Amighini A., Leone M. et Rabellotti R. La continuite contre le changement dans la distribution internationale de la specialisation de l'Italie: dans quelle mesure 'l'effet district' importe-t-il?, Regional Studies. Cet article cherche a etudier l'evolution de la distribution de la specialisation pour les provinces italiennes sur la periode de 1995 a 2005 en analysant la dynamique de la distribution sectorielle au sein de l'indice de Balassa des avantages comparatifs decouvertes. Les resultats laissent voir que de grandes variations de la performance locale etayent une distribution des avantages comparatifs nationaux relativement stable sur le temps: il n'y a qu'une poignee de provinces qui demontrent aucune stabilite de leur specialisation sur les dix dernieres annees, et la majorite montrent une baisse de leur specialisation. Il s'avere une propension moyenne a la continuite plus elevee pour les provinces dotees de districts, mais il ne s'avere aucune difference systematique entre les provinces dotees de districts industriels et celles qui ne le sont pas. Les provinces dotees de districts montrent une importante variation, dont quelques-unes se concentrent sur leurs avantages comparatifs du passe, mais dont beaucoup se diversifient. Differenciation intraregionale Dynamique de la specialisation en exportations Districts industriels Italie Amighini A., Leone M. und Rabellotti R. Persistenz und Veranderung bei den internationalen Spezialisierungsablaufen in Italien: Welche Rolle spielt der 'Bezirkseffekt'?, Regional Studies. In diesem Beitrag untersuchen wir mit Hilfe einer Analyse der Dynamik der sektoralen Verteilung im Balassa-Index der offenbarten komparativen Vorteile die Entwicklung der Spezialisierungsablaufe fur die italienischen Provinzen im Zeitraum von 1995 bis 2005. Aus den Ergebnissen geht hervor, dass sich hinter einer relativ stabilen zeitlichen Verteilung der nationalen komparativen Vorteile starke Schwankungen hinsichtlich der lokalen Leistungsfahigkeit verbergen: Nur wenige Provinzen erwiesen in den letzten zehn Jahren bei ihrer Spezialisierung als stabil, wahrend die Spezialisierung bei den meisten Provinzen nachliess. Bei Provinzen mit Bezirken wurde ein hoheres durchschnittliches Mass an Persistenz festgestellt, ohne dass aber systematische Unterschiede zwischen Provinzen mit und ohne Industriebezirken gefunden werden konnten. Provinzen mit Bezirken weisen hohe Schwankungen auf, wobei sich einige auf ihre fruheren komparativen Starken konzentrieren, wahrend viele andere sich diversifizieren. Intraregionale Differenzierung Dynamik der Exportspezialisierung Industriebezirke Italien Amighini A., Leone M. y Rabellotti R. Persistencia frente a cambio en la especializacion internacional de Italia: ¿que importancia tiene el 'efecto de las comarcas'?, Regional Studies. En este articulo examinamos la evolucion de los modelos de especializacion para las provincias italianas durante el periodo de 1995 a 2005 analizando las dinamicas de la distribucion sectorial en el indice de Balassa de las ventajas comparativas reveladas. Los resultados muestran que bajo una distribucion temporal relativamente estable de las ventajas comparativas nacionales, ocurren amplias variaciones en el rendimiento local: en los ultimos diez anos solamente una pocas provincias han mostrado estabilidad en su especializacion mientras que una mayoria muestra una disminucion en las especializaciones. En las provincias con comarcas se observa un grado medio superior de persistencia pero no hay diferencias sistematicas entre las provincias con o sin comarcas industriales. Las provincias con comarcas muestran una variacion amplia; algunas se concentran en sus ventajas comparativas previas pero muchas se diversifican. Diferenciacion intrarregional Dinamicas de la especializacion de exportacion Comarcas industriales Italia

Suggested Citation

  • Alessia Amighini & Marinella Leone & Roberta Rabellotti, 2011. "Persistence versus Change in the International Specialization Pattern of Italy: How Much Does the 'District Effect' Matter?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(3), pages 381-401.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:45:y:2011:i:3:p:381-401
    DOI: 10.1080/00343401003604655

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Briant, A. & Combes, P.-P. & Lafourcade, M., 2010. "Dots to boxes: Do the size and shape of spatial units jeopardize economic geography estimations?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 287-302, May.
    2. Luca DE BENEDICTIS & Massimo TAMBERI, 2002. "A note on the Balassa Index of Revealed Comparative Advantage," Working Papers 158, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
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    1. Mauro Caselli & Andrea Fracasso & Silvio Traverso, 2020. "Globalization and electoral outcomes: Evidence from Italy," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(1), pages 68-103, March.
    2. Elsa Leromain & Gianluca Orefice, 2014. "New revealed comparative advantage index: Dataset and empirical distribution," International Economics, CEPII research center, issue 139, pages 48-70.
    3. Marco PLATANIA, 2014. "Trade Advantage Of Italian Industrial Districts:Persistence And Change," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 14(2).
    4. Keld Laursen, 2015. "Revealed comparative advantage and the alternatives as measures of international specialization," Eurasian Business Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 5(1), pages 99-115, June.
    5. Mauro Caselli & Andrea Fracasso & Silvio Traverso, 2021. "Globalization, robotization, and electoral outcomes: Evidence from spatial regressions for Italy," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 86-111, January.
    6. Gioacchino Pappalardo & Valeria Allegra & Marcella Bucca & Alfonso Silvio Zabà, 2013. "Gli scambi commerciali agroalimentari euromediterranei. Contributo allo sviluppo del "Processo di Barcellona: Unione per il Mediterraneo"," ECONOMIA AGRO-ALIMENTARE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 15(1), pages 37-72.
    7. Luciano PILOTTI & Maria VERNUCCIO & Andrea GANZAROLI, 2011. "Tassonomia, topologia e tipologia dei sistemi produttivi locali in Italia: un tentativo di sintesi," Departmental Working Papers 2011-22, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    8. Francisco Galuppo Azevedo & Fabricio Murai, 2021. "Evaluating the state-of-the-art in mapping research spaces: A Brazilian case study," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 16(3), pages 1-27, March.
    9. Claudio Berardino & Giuseppe Mauro & Davide Quaglione & Alessandro Sarra, 2016. "Industrial Districts and Socio-economic Well-Being: An Investigation on the Italian Provinces Disparities," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 129(1), pages 337-363, October.

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