Structural Change in Distribution Markets in Peripheral Europe: Spanish Food Retailing, 1950-2007
The processes of structural change and modernisation in the food distribution industry have been submitted to different economic and institutional frameworks in European countries. Two essential factors have affected these changes: on one hand, the role of technical, financial and organisational innovations and on the other, institutional factors. The weight of both has varied depending on the historical circumstances of the countries in consideration and their level of development. This paper discusses with the framework of the “latecomers”. In these countries, the factor of innovation has been produced in terms of appropriation, whether this is technological or organisational, usually influenced by foreign models or through direct foreign investment. The impact of these innovations has been highly conditioned by inflexible institutional surroundings. Considering the Spanish food trade in the last sixty years is a good way of dealing with the processes of structural change in Mediterranean Europe. This paper helps one understand the role taken by countries which introduced factors of innovation and growth in less favourable surroundings than those of developed Europe.
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