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Unas realidades ignoradas: de Marshall a Becattini
[The industrial district: from Marshall to Becattini]


  • Sforzi, Fabio


This paper examines how the concept of industrial district, widely recognised as an Italian construct, took shape. It assesses to what extent the concept was tailored to fit the peculiar trait of the Italian economic development, as is claimed by some international authors, and to what extent it is the product of an original interpretation of the thought of Alfred Marshall. The concept of industrial district is probably the most important and is certainly best-known idea of Giacomo Becattini, the Italian economist thanks to whom Marshall has been brought back to the collective memory of economists. Industrial district constitutes a model of production organised by local communities in order to produce goods to meet and steer market wants, in Italy and other countries, too. But this paper contends that without the work of Becattini in tracing the ideological foundations of Marshall’s economic thought, the industrial district would probably today be ignored.

Suggested Citation

  • Sforzi, Fabio, 2008. "Unas realidades ignoradas: de Marshall a Becattini
    [The industrial district: from Marshall to Becattini]
    ," MPRA Paper 40059, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:40059

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Giacomo Becattini & Marco Bellandi & Gabi Del Ottati & Fabio Sforzi, 2003. "From Industrial Districts to Local Development," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2884.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sforzi, Fabio & Boix, Rafael, 2015. "What about Industrial District(s) in Regional Science?," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 32, pages 61-73.

    More about this item


    Giacomo Becattini; industrial district; cluster; genesis and spread of economic ideas;

    JEL classification:

    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production


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