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Patents and the Technological Performance of District Firms Evidence for the Emilia-Romagna Region of Italy

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  • Enrico Santarelli

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Abstract

This paper investigates some crucial aspects of the recent development of industrial districts in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, where this type of spatial agglomeration of industrial firms has flourished since the period immediately after the Second World War. In particular, it is aimed at comparing the technological strength (in terms of patents registered with the European Patent Office) of innovative firms located within and outside industrial districts, in order to determine whether the prediction that innovative activity favors those firms or industries with direct access to knowledge producing inputs applies also to the case of industrial districts in the Emilia-Romagna region. The analysis deals with the population of firms with their headquarters in the region which registered at least one patent with the European Patent Office during the 1986-1995 period. Results from panel model estimates show that being located within an industrial district resulted in a technological advantage during the overall 1986-1995 period. However, on breaking down this period into two sub-periods (1986-1990 and 1991-1995) it is found that such advantage was strong in the first one, whereas it was lost in the first half of the 1990s.

Suggested Citation

  • Enrico Santarelli, 2004. "Patents and the Technological Performance of District Firms Evidence for the Emilia-Romagna Region of Italy," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2004-29, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:esi:egpdis:2004-29
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    File URL: ftp://papers.econ.mpg.de/egp/discussionpapers/2004-29.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Santarelli, Enrico & Piergiovanni, Roberta, 1996. "Analyzing literature-based innovation output indicators: the Italian experience," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 689-711, August.
    2. 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.
    3. Tor Jakob Klette & Samuel Kortum, 2004. "Innovating Firms and Aggregate Innovation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 986-1018, October.
    4. Giorgio Barba Navaretti & Enrico Santarelli & Marco Vivarelli, 2002. "The role of subsidies in promoting Italian joint ventures in least developed and transition economies," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(12), pages 1563-1569.
    5. Russo, Margherita, 1985. "Technical change and the industrial district: The role of interfirm relations in the growth and transformation of ceramic tile production in Italy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 329-343, December.
    6. Lorenzoni, Gianni & Ornati, Oscar A., 1988. "Constellations of firms and new ventures," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 41-57.
    7. Giovannetti, Emanuele, 2000. "Technology Adoption and the Emergence of Regional Asymmetries," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 71-102, March.
    8. 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.
    9. Biggiero, Lucio, 2002. "The Location of Multinationals in Industrial Districts: Knowledge Transfer in Biomedicals," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 111-122, January.
    10. Forni, Mario & Paba, Sergio, 2002. "Spillovers and the Growth of Local Industries," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 151-171, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rafael Boix & Joan Trullén, 2009. "Industrial Districts, Innovation and I-district Effect: Territory or Industrial Specialization?," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(10), pages 1707-1729, February.
    2. Sandrine Labory, 2011. "Role of external knowledge flows in cluster upgrading: an empirical analysis of the Mirandola biomedical district in Italy," Working Papers 201114, University of Ferrara, Department of Economics.
    3. Francesco Rentocchini & Dimitri Tartari, 2011. "An analysis of the adoption of OSS by local public administrations: Evidence from the Emilia-Romagna Region of Italy," Openloc Working Papers 1101, Public policies and local development.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R15 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Econometric and Input-Output Models; Other Methods

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