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Perspectives on Mature Marshallian Industrial Districts

Industrial districts growing in various industrialized countries and regions after the golden age of mass production, in the second half of the twentieth century, have shown a re-emergence of forces of local development. The success stories, in particular those more peculiar and consistent as forms of industrial and social organization, like many Italian cases, have asked and favored the definition of apposite concepts and frames of interpretations. A strong basis of theoretical refinement was extracted from Alfred Marshall’s reflections on the role and working of industrial districts before the golden age of mass production. A well-known refinement is the model of the so-called Marshallian industrial district (MID). Sustained trajectories of success gravitating around the logic of such model have resulted in what may be intended as cases of typical mature industrial districts. They have been confronting since the end of the last century with the effects of a new wave of globalization challenges. It is argued in this paper that MID general structural and dynamic characters encompass a large set of empirical cases, in particular those of typical mature IDs reacting progressively, in terms of innovation and internationalization, to contemporary challenges and de-maturing. They find their way and combine old and new characters, still within the model. However, the MID’s borders may be trespassed as well, as the MID logic coalesces with other logics of industrial and social organization.

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Paper provided by Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa in its series Working Papers - Economics with number wp2009_15.rdf.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Handle: RePEc:frz:wpaper:wp2009_15.rdf
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  1. Giacomo Becattini, 2004. "Industrial Districts," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 3037.
  2. Marco Bellandi, 2007. "Industrial Discrtricts and Waves of Industrialization: A Rich and Contested Terrain," SCIENZE REGIONALI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2007(2), pages 7-33.
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