IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Externalities and local economic growth in manufacturing industries


  • R. Paci


  • S. Usai



The growing interest on the economic geography issues has provided new vigour to the research efforts aiming at explaining economic phenomena without neglecting space. In particular several studies have focused on the role of spatially bounded externalities on firms agglomeration processes at the local industry level. This paper has a twofold objective. Firstly, we outline a general eclectic model of local economic growth to provide the theoretical background to guide the econometric analysis. The model includes a general taxonomy of different factors which may explain economic growth in a specific industry and location. Secondly, we assess the role of a large set of potential determinants of the process of local agglomeration of economic activity and we address the issue of spatial association of the local growth processes. We apply our model to the case of Italy making use of a very ample database on socio-economic indicators for 784 Local Labour Systems and 97 manufacturing sectors over the period 1991-96. Our econometric results show that local growth in Italy is not a homogeneous process. On the contrary, it is characterized by significant differences across macro regions with respect to the relevance of the explanatory factors. Among the most important determinants of local industry growth, it is worth mentioning the positive role of the diversity externalities. We also find robust evidence of the negative influence of specialisation externalities on labour dynamics at the local industry level. Moreover, we have assessed the effects of other determinants of local growth like - human capital, social environment and public infrastructures. The analysis of spatial dynamics, carried out for the North-East and Centre-North, shows that at the local industry level there are polarisation phenomena at work and that employment dynamics are self-contained within the boundaries of local labour systems once we have controlled for a large set of local determinants.

Suggested Citation

  • R. Paci & S. Usai, 2001. "Externalities and local economic growth in manufacturing industries," Working Paper CRENoS 200113, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  • Handle: RePEc:cns:cnscwp:200113

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ciccone, Antonio & Hall, Robert E, 1996. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 54-70, March.
    2. Kelly, Morgan & Hageman, Anya, 1999. "Marshallian Externalities in Innovation," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 39-54, March.
    3. Breschi, Stefano & Lissoni, Francesco, 2001. "Knowledge Spillovers and Local Innovation Systems: A Critical Survey," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(4), pages 975-1005, December.
    4. Lodde, Sergio, 1999. "Education and growth; some disaggregated evidence from the Italian regions," ERSA conference papers ersa99pa117, European Regional Science Association.
    5. Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1993. "Why Is Rent-Seeking So Costly to Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 409-414, May.
    6. Feldman, Maryann P. & Audretsch, David B., 1999. "Innovation in cities:: Science-based diversity, specialization and localized competition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 409-429, February.
    7. Maskell, Peter & Malmberg, Anders, 1999. "Localised Learning and Industrial Competitiveness," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(2), pages 167-185, March.
    8. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Is public expenditure productive?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
    9. Edward L. Glaeser & Glenn Ellison, 1999. "The Geographic Concentration of Industry: Does Natural Advantage Explain Agglomeration?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 311-316, May.
    10. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-598.
    11. Forni, Mario & Paba, Sergio, 2001. "Knowledge Spillovers and the Growth of Local Industries," CEPR Discussion Papers 2934, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Di Liberto Adriana, 2001. "Stock" di capitale umano e crescita nelle regioni italiane: un approccio "panel," Politica economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 159-184.
    13. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
    14. Henderson, Vernon & Kuncoro, Ari & Turner, Matt, 1995. "Industrial Development in Cities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 1067-1090, October.
    15. Randall W. Eberts, 1990. "Public infrastructure and regional economic development," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q I, pages 15-27.
    16. Michael Funke & Annekatrin Niebuhr, 2000. "Regional Geographic R&D Spillovers and Economic Growth," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 20007, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
    17. Alicia H. Munnell & Leah M. Cook, 1990. "How does public infrastructure affect regional economic performance?," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Sep, pages 11-33.
    18. Mario Forni & Sergio Paba, 2000. "The Sources of Local Growth: Evidence from Italy," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 59(1), pages 1-49, April.
    19. Bartelsman, Eric J & Caballero, Ricardo J & Lyons, Richard K, 1994. "Customer- and Supplier-Driven Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 1075-1084, September.
    20. Brusco, Sebastiano, 1982. "The Emilian Model: Productive Decentralisation and Social Integration," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 167-184, June.
    21. Alejandro Cuñat & Giovanni Peri, "undated". "Job Creation in Italy: Geography, Technology and Infrastructures," Working Papers 175, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Massimiliano Agovino & Agnese Rapposelli, 2015. "Agglomeration externalities and technical efficiency in Italian regions," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 49(5), pages 1803-1822, September.
    2. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Overman, Henry G., 2004. "The spatial distribution of economic activities in the European Union," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics,in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 64, pages 2845-2909 Elsevier.
    3. Maria Davì & Isidora Barbaccia, 2015. "Measuring agglomeration by spatial effects: a proposal," RIVISTA DI ECONOMIA E STATISTICA DEL TERRITORIO, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2015(1), pages 44-70.
    4. Roberto Antonietti & Giulio Cainelli, 2011. "The role of spatial agglomeration in a structural model of innovation, productivity and export: a firm-level analysis," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 46(3), pages 577-600, June.

    More about this item


    local growth; externalities; spatial agglomeration;

    JEL classification:

    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cns:cnscwp:200113. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Antonello Pau). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.