"Traditional knowledge" and local development trajectories
The paper discusses the concept of "traditional knowledge": its definition, economic significance and role in shaping regional development trajectories. After outlining a conceptual framework for the analysis of traditional knowledge, the paper examines the changing position of traditional knowledge in two Italian regions that have followed quite different development trajectories since the 1950s: the "Sibillini Mountains Region", which has one of the most complex human landscapes in Europe, and the "Marche Region footwear industrial district", one of the best performing territories in Italy during the decades 1950-2000. The analysis seems to corroborate the hypothesis that the role of traditional knowledge depends on a complex interplay between meta-preferences, relative prices and technologies coevolving in time.
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