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Mapping local productivity advantages in Italy: industrial districts, cities or both?

Author

Listed:
  • Valter Di Giacinto

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Matteo Gomellini

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Giacinto Micucci

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Marcello Pagnini

    () (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

We compare the magnitude of local productivity advantages associated with two different spatial concentration patterns in Italy � urban areas and industrial districts. The former have high population density and host a wide range of economic activities, while the latter are marked by a high concentration of small firms producing relatively homogenous goods. Using data from a large sample of Italian manufacturing firms observed over the 1995-2006 period, we detect local productivity advantages for both urban areas and industrial districts. However, firms located in urban areas reap a larger productivity premium than those operating within districts. The advantages of industrial districts have declined over time; those of urban areas have remained stable. Differences in the composition of firm employees between white- and blue-collars explain a small fraction of the urban productivity premium. The quantile regressions show how more productive firms gain larger benefits by locating in urban areas. Our analysis raises the question of whether Italian industrial districts are less fit than urban areas to prosper in a world characterized by advancing globalization and the growing use of ICT.

Suggested Citation

  • Valter Di Giacinto & Matteo Gomellini & Giacinto Micucci & Marcello Pagnini, 2012. "Mapping local productivity advantages in Italy: industrial districts, cities or both?," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 850, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_850_12
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    Cited by:

    1. Roberto BASILE & Cristiana DONATI & Rosanna PITTIGLIO, 2013. "Industry Structure And Employment Growth: Evidence From Semiparametric Geoadditive Models," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 38, pages 121-160.
    2. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Gobillon, Laurent, 2015. "The Empirics of Agglomeration Economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.
    3. Carlos Carreira & Luís Lopes, 2016. "Collecting new pieces to the regional knowledge spillovers puzzle: high-tech versus low-tech industries," GEMF Working Papers 2016-06, GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.
    4. Sabrina Iommi, 2016. "Città medie e nuove politiche di sviluppo," SCIENZE REGIONALI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2016(2), pages 5-14.
    5. Frank Giarratani & Geoffrey J.D. Hewings & Philip McCann (ed.), 2013. "Handbook of Industry Studies and Economic Geography," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 3542, April.
    6. Anna Maria Ferragina & Fernanda Mazzotta, 2014. "Agglomeration economies and global activities: impact on firm survival," ERSA conference papers ersa14p348, European Regional Science Association.
    7. Antonio Accetturo & Valter Di Giacinto & Giacinto Micucci & Marcello Pagnini, 2013. "Geography, productivity and trade: does selection explain why some locations are more productive than others?," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 910, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    8. Brunello, Giorgio & Langella, Monica, 2014. "Local Agglomeration, Entrepreneurship and the Great Recession: Evidence from Italian Industrial Districts," IZA Discussion Papers 8331, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. repec:spr:anresc:v:59:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s00168-017-0830-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Giorgia Giovannetti & Enrico Marvasi & Marco Sanfilippo, 2015. "Supply chains and the internationalization of small firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(4), pages 845-865, April.
    11. Ganau, Roberto & Rodr�guez-Pose, Andr�s, 2017. "Industrial Clusters, Organized Crime and Productivity Growth in Italian SMEs," CEPR Discussion Papers 12140, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Marc Deloof & Maurizio Rocca, 2015. "Local financial development and the trade credit policy of Italian SMEs," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(4), pages 905-924, April.
    13. Fiorenza Belussi & Lisa De Propris, 2013. "They are industrial districts, but not as we know them!," Chapters,in: Handbook of Industry Studies and Economic Geography, chapter 20, pages 479-492 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    14. Arimoto, Yutaka & Nakajima, Kentaro & Okazaki, Tetsuji, 2014. "Sources of productivity improvement in industrial clusters: The case of the prewar Japanese silk-reeling industry," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 27-41.
    15. Anna Ferragina & Fernanda Mazzotta, 2015. "Agglomeration economies in Italy: impact on heterogeneous firms’ exit in a multilevel framework," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 42(4), pages 395-440, December.
    16. Giorgia Giovannetti & Enrico Marvasi & Marco Sanfilippo, 2013. "Supply Chains and the Internalization of SMEs: Evidence from Italy," Working Papers - Economics wp2013_30.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
    17. Giovannetti, Giorgia & Marvasi, Enrico, 2016. "Food exporters in global value chains: Evidence from Italy," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 110-125.
    18. Luigi Cannari, 2011. "Networks of Firms and Local Territory: A Comment," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 4, December.
    19. Ana Gouveia & Sílvia Santos & Marli Fernandes, 2017. "The empirics of agglomeration economies: the link with productivity," GEE Papers 0067, Gabinete de Estratégia e Estudos, Ministério da Economia, revised Feb 2017.
    20. 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.
    21. Roberto Basile & Cristiana Donati & Rosanna Pittiglio & Maria Savarese, 2015. "Dinamiche dell’occupazione e struttura produttiva locale in Italia," SCIENZE REGIONALI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2015(2), pages 33-68.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    urban areas; industrial districts; agglomeration economies; productivity; white- and blue-collars; Italian economy;

    JEL classification:

    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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