IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Theoretical Arguments for Industrialisation-Driven Growth and Economic Development


  • Tommaso Ciarli

    () (SPRU, University of Sussex, UK)

  • Michele Di Maio

    () (Univerity of Naples, Parthenope, Italy)


"We review the theories of growth and economic development in which the industrial sector plays a role. We briefly discuss the theoretical arguments that have been put forward in each of them and summarise the explanation of how industrialisation promotes growth and economic development. We follow an (occasionally overlapping) chronological order and find it convenient to distinguish three main periods in development thinking: the theories of the stages of economic development; the classical theories of economic development; and the modern views. The paper shows that, with few exceptions, industrialisation has always been considered the driver of economic growth in economic theory. However, in much of the relevant literature, the superiority of industry is assumed or observed, rather than explained, suggesting that there are a number of unresolved issues behind the different theoretical arguments for industrialisation-led economic development. Any development policy that focuses on industrialisation should consider these arguments in relation to specific objectives and contexts, rather than taking them for granted."

Suggested Citation

  • Tommaso Ciarli & Michele Di Maio, 2013. "Theoretical Arguments for Industrialisation-Driven Growth and Economic Development," SPRU Working Paper Series 2013-06, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
  • Handle: RePEc:sru:ssewps:2013-06

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Audretsch, David B., 1995. "Innovation, growth and survival," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 441-457, December.
    2. Robert Cressy, 2006. "Why do Most Firms Die Young?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 103-116, March.
    3. Enrico Santarelli & Marco Vivarelli, 2007. "Entrepreneurship and the process of firms’ entry, survival and growth," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(3), pages 455-488, June.
    4. Magnus Henrekson & Dan Johansson, 2010. "Gazelles as job creators: a survey and interpretation of the evidence," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 227-244, September.
    5. Israel M. Kirzner, 1997. "Entrepreneurial Discovery and the Competitive Market Process: An Austrian Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 60-85, March.
    6. Paul Geroski & Klaus Gugler, 2004. "Corporate growth convergence in Europe," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 597-620, October.
    7. Bjuggren, Carl Magnus & Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov & Johansson, Dan, 2010. "Ownership and High-Growth Firms," Ratio Working Papers 147, The Ratio Institute, revised 29 Sep 2010.
    8. Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov & Elert, Niklas & Johansson, Dan, 2010. "The economic contribution of high-growth firms: Do definitions matter?," HUI Working Papers 35, HUI Research.
    9. Davidsson, Per & Henrekson, Magnus, 2002. "Determinants of the Prevalence of Start-Ups and High-Growth Firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 81-104, September.
    10. Sven-Olov Daunfeldt & Daniel Halvarsson, 2015. "Are high-growth firms one-hit wonders? Evidence from Sweden," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 361-383, February.
    11. Rivera-Batiz, Luis A. & Romer, Paul M., 1991. "International trade with endogenous technological change," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 971-1001, May.
    12. Davis, Steven J & Haltiwanger, John & Schuh, Scott, 1996. "Small Business and Job Creation: Dissecting the Myth and Reassessing the Facts," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 297-315, August.
    13. Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov & Elert, Niklas & Rudholm, Niklas, 2011. "New Start-ups and Firm In-migration –Evidence from the Swedish Wholesale Trade Industry," Ratio Working Papers 171, The Ratio Institute.
    14. Sven-olov Daunfeldt & Niklas Rudholm & Fredrik Bergström, 2006. "Entry into Swedish Retail and Wholesale Trade Markets," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 29(3), pages 213-225, November.
    15. Variyam, Jayachandran N. & Kraybill, David S., 1992. "Empirical evidence on determinants of firm growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 31-36, January.
    16. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 71-102, October.
    17. Reinhold Grotz & Udo Brixy, 2003. "Regional Patterns and Determinants of the Success of New Firms in Western Germany," ERSA conference papers ersa03p270, European Regional Science Association.
    18. John C. Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2010. "Who Creates Jobs? Small vs. Large vs. Young," NBER Working Papers 16300, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Marco Capasso & Elena Cefis & Koen Frenken, 2009. "Do Some Firms Persistently Outperform ?," LEM Papers Series 2009/15, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    20. Alessandro Arrighetti & Marco Vivarelli, 1999. "The Role of Innovation in the Postentry Performance of New Small Firms: Evidence from Italy," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(4), pages 927-939, April.
    21. Scott Shane, 2009. "Why encouraging more people to become entrepreneurs is bad public policy," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 141-149, August.
    22. Audretsch, David B. & Keilbach, Max C. & Lehmann, Erik E., 2006. "Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195183511, June.
    23. David B. Audretsch & Dirk Dohse, 2007. "Location: A Neglected Determinant of Firm Growth," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 143(1), pages 79-107, April.
    24. Delmar, Frederic & Davidsson, Per & Gartner, William B., 2003. "Arriving at the high-growth firm," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 189-216, March.
    25. Harvey Goldstein & Catherine Renault, 2004. "Contributions of Universities to Regional Economic Development: A Quasi-experimental Approach," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(7), pages 733-746.
    26. Giorgio Fagiolo & Alessandra Luzzi, 2006. "Do liquidity constraints matter in explaining firm size and growth? Some evidence from the Italian manufacturing industry," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 1-39, February.
    27. F. M. Scherer, 1965. "Corporate Inventive Output, Profits, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 290-290.
    28. Geroski, P. A., 1995. "What do we know about entry?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 421-440, December.
    29. Kamhon Kan & Wei-Der Tsai, 2006. "Entrepreneurship and Risk Aversion," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 26(5), pages 465-474, June.
    30. Francesca Lotti & Enrico Santarelli & Marco Vivarelli, 2003. "Does Gibrat's Law hold among young, small firms?," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 213-235, August.
    31. Zoltan Acs & David Audretsch, 1990. "Innovation and Small Firms," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262011131, July.
    32. Erik Stam, 2005. "The Geography Of Gazelles In The Netherlands," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 96(1), pages 121-127, February.
    33. Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov & Lang, Åsa & Macuchova, Zuzana & Rudholm, Niklas, 2011. "Firm Growth in the Retail and Wholesale Trade Sectors – Evidence from Sweden," HUI Working Papers 50, HUI Research.
    34. Audretsch, David B & Mahmood, Talat, 1994. "Firm Selection and Industry Evolution: The Post-entry Performance of New Firms," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 243-260, September.
    35. Hart Hodges & Stein Østbye, 2010. "Is small firm gardening good for local economic growth?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(8), pages 809-813.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sru:ssewps:2013-06. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Russell Eke) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.