The internationalization of Italian production and industrial districts: an analysis of direct investment abroad
Using data from Ufficio italiano dei cambi for the period 1997-2001, the study analyses the distribution of foreign direct investment (FDI) outflows by sector and local area of origin. It tries to identify which local industrial structures determine a larger propensity to invest abroad, focusing especially on the role of ï¿½industrial districtsï¿½. Controlling for a set of variables, we do not find any evidence that the presence of districts has a positive impact on FDI, contrary to what happens for exports. FDI outflows are mainly generated from large firms in capital-intensive industries. Beyond contributing to the literature on industrial districts, the results help understanding why Italyï¿½s FDI on GDP ratio is lower than in other advanced economies.
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