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The Cantonese model: Clusters of firms and local industrial development policy in Southern China


  • Marco R. Di Tommaso

    () (Università degli Studi di Ferrara)

  • Elisa Barbieri

    () (Università degli Studi di Udine)

  • Lauretta Rubini

    () (Università degli Studi di Ferrara)


Studying first-comers industrialization processes or today’s “new-comers” experiences of industrial development it is clear that firms are not indifferent to geography. This paper illustrates the experience of the Southern China Guangdong Province, where, rather differently from what has been happening in many countries, agglomerations of firms have been extensively encouraged by government interventions. The government has selected several localities within the Province where the agglomeration of specialized companies has been strongly stimulated. In the Cantonese experience, therefore, the firm-clustering process cannot be considered only the aggregate result of single-firm choices but, on the contrary, it has been strongly connected to the local government’s vision and interventions.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco R. Di Tommaso & Elisa Barbieri & Lauretta Rubini, 2012. "The Cantonese model: Clusters of firms and local industrial development policy in Southern China," Working Papers 1212, c.MET-05 - Centro Interuniversitario di Economia Applicata alle Politiche per L'industria, lo Sviluppo locale e l'Internazionalizzazione.
  • Handle: RePEc:cme:wpaper:1212

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Elisa Barbieri & Marco Di Tommaso & Lauretta Rubini, 2009. "Industrial development policies in southern China: the specialised towns programme," ECONOMIA E POLITICA INDUSTRIALE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 36(3), pages 179-198.
    2. Elisa Barbieri & Marco R. Di Tommaso & Manli Huang, 2009. "Industrial Development Policy and Innovation in Southern China: Government Targets and Firms' Behaviour," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 83-105, September.
    3. Barbieri, Elisa & Di Tommaso, Marco R. & Bonnini, Stefano, 2012. "Industrial development policies and performances in Southern China: Beyond the specialised industrial cluster program," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 613-625.
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