Empresas y distritos industriales en el mercado mundial: una aproximación desde la historia económica
This paper deals with the contribution of industrial districts and clusters to the creation of competitive advantage in industry. It is divided into two well-differentiated parts. The first one provides an interpretative summary of key issues in the analysis of the geographic concentration of industry. In particular, some of the main interpretations and debates on the causes and characteristics of this concentration are presented. Additionally, it pays particular attention to the ongoing debate about the role of external economies (i.e. the externalities of industrial concentration) and internal economies (i.e. the strategies and capabilities of medium-large firms) in the competitiveness of districts and clusters. The second part of the paper reviews some recent studies, mostly focused on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Spain. This review, which includes historical analyses of districts, clusters and industries with export capacity, is undertaken in the light of the discussion in the first part of this study. An interesting conclusion that emerges from the studies reviewed is that in Southern Europe the competitive advantage of the geographically concentrated industry appears to have been associated more with hub-firm clusters than with neo-Marshallian districts (Main text in Spanish)
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