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Industrial district effects and innovation in the Tuscan shipbuilding industry


  • Luciana Lazzeretti

    () (Department of Bussines Economics, University of Florence)

  • Francesco Capone

    () (Department of Bussines Economics, University of Florence)


The aim of the present work is to investigate innovative processes within a geographical cluster, and thus contribute to the debate on the effects of industrial clusters on innovation capacity. In particular, we would like to ascertain whether the advantages of industrial districts in promoting innovation, as already revealed by literature (diffusion of knowledge, social capital and trust, efficient networking), are also keys to success in the Tuscan shipbuilding industry of pleasure and sporting boats. First, we verify the existence of clusters of shipbuilding in Tuscany, using a specific methodology. Next, in the identified clusters, we analyse three innovative networks financed in a policy to support innovation, and examine whether the typical features of a cluster for promoting innovation are at work, using a questionnaire administered to 71 actors. Finally, we develop a performance analysis of the cluster firms and ascertain whether their different behaviours also lead to different performances. The analysis results show that our case records effects of industrial clustering on innovation capacity, such as the important role given to trust and social capital, the significant worth put in interfirm relations and in each partner’s specific competencies, or even the distinctive performance of firms belonging to a cluster.

Suggested Citation

  • Luciana Lazzeretti & Francesco Capone, 2009. "Industrial district effects and innovation in the Tuscan shipbuilding industry," IERMB Working Paper in economics 0903, Institut d'Estudis Regionals i Metropolitans de Barcelona.
  • Handle: RePEc:esg:wpierm:0903

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lorenz, Edward, 1999. "Trust, Contract and Economic Cooperation," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(3), pages 301-315, May.
    2. Francesco Capone & Rafael Boix, 2008. "Sources of growth and competitiveness of local tourist production systems: an application to Italy (1991–2001)," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 42(1), pages 209-224, March.
    3. Asheim, Bjorn T & Isaksen, Arne, 2002. "Regional Innovation Systems: The Integration of Local 'Sticky' and Global 'Ubiquitous' Knowledge," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 77-86, January.
    4. 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.
    5. Marco Bellandi, 1992. "The incentives to decentralized industrial creativity in local Systems of small firms," Revue d'Économie Industrielle, Programme National Persée, vol. 59(1), pages 99-110.
    6. Cooke, Philip, 2001. "Regional Innovation Systems, Clusters, and the Knowledge Economy," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(4), pages 945-974, December.
    7. Leonardo Becchetti & Andrea De Panizza & Filippo Oropallo, 2007. "Role of Industrial District Externalities in Export and Value-added Performance: Evidence from the Population of Italian Firms," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(5), pages 601-621.
    8. Alessandro Muscio, 2006. "Patterns of Innovation in Industrial Districts: An Empirical Analysis," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 291-312.
    9. Rafael Boix & Vittorio Galleto, 2005. "Sistemas Locales de Trabajo y Distritos Industriales Marshallianos en España," Working Papers wpdea0514, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
    10. Cristina Boari & Andrea Lipparini, 1999. "Networks within Industrial Districts: Organising Knowledge Creation and Transfer by Means of Moderate Hierarchies," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 3(4), pages 339-360, December.
    11. Bennett Harrison, 2007. "Industrial Districts: Old Wine in New Bottles? (Volume 26, Number 5, 1992)," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(sup1), pages 107-121.
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    More about this item


    geographical clusters; industrial districts; innovation; technological transfer; shipbuilding industry;

    JEL classification:

    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • L62 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Automobiles; Other Transportation Equipment; Related Parts and Equipment

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