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The New Complexity of Local Production and the Enlightened Role of Industrial Policy


  • Mario Davide Parrilli

    () (Orkestra - Basque Institute of Competitiveness)


Within this specific contribution we focus on a group of structural transformations that take place within local production systems, namely clusters and districts. This change represents one of the responses of the western economies to the challenges put forth by the emerging powers (e.g. China and the likes). The central idea of this work revolves around the concept of cluster, which created a heated debate over the past two decades. In fact, some stressed the relevance of the width of the interconnected activities and institutions that compose a specific cluster, whereas others tended to equate the concept of cluster with that of district in key aspects such as geographical reach and width of activities. Within this debate, this work offers two meaningful elements. First of all, we focus on new cluster formations that represent the new industrial complexity of local production systems across the western world (mainly Europe) that respond to new challenges set by globalization. In this way, we may thus verify whether former conceptualizations are definitive or may incorporate new features. Secondly and simultaneously, the relevance of a proactive regional policy approach is discussed as a means to build up such competitive response to globalization.

Suggested Citation

  • Mario Davide Parrilli, 2013. "The New Complexity of Local Production and the Enlightened Role of Industrial Policy," Working Papers 2013R01, Orkestra - Basque Institute of Competitiveness.
  • Handle: RePEc:ivc:wpaper:2013r01

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael Porter, 2003. "The Economic Performance of Regions," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6-7), pages 549-578.
    2. C. A. Hidalgo & B. Klinger & A. -L. Barabasi & R. Hausmann, 2007. "The Product Space Conditions the Development of Nations," Papers 0708.2090,
    3. Mario Davide Parrilli & Khalid Nadvi & Henry Wai-Chung Yeung, 2013. "Local and Regional Development in Global Value Chains, Production Networks and Innovation Networks: A Comparative Review and the Challenges for Future Research," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(7), pages 967-988, July.
    4. Schmitz, Hubert & Musyck, Bernard, 1994. "Industrial districts in Europe: Policy lessons for developing countries?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 889-910, June.
    5. Patrizio Bianchi & Sandrine Labory (ed.), 2006. "International Handbook on Industrial Policy," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 3451, April.
    6. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2003. "Deconstructing clusters: chaotic concept or policy panacea?," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(1), pages 5-35, January.
    7. Patrizio Bianchi & Sandrine Labory, 2012. "Conceptualisations, Relationships and Trends between Innovation, Competitiveness and Development: Industrial Policy Beyond the Crisis," Chapters,in: Innovation, Global Change and Territorial Resilience, chapter 13 Edward Elgar Publishing.
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