the effects of globalization on italian industrial districts: evidence from the footwear sector
This paper is concerned with the effects of globalisation of production in some footwear Italian districts. The aim is to investigate and compare the position of those districts in the process of fragmentation of production that affected the Italian footwear sector in the last few years. The following questions are tackled: Are Italian footwear districts specialising in some particular phases of the production cycle? Is there any common trend towards a reduction of activities carried out within the districts? Or, instead, are different patterns emerging according to districts’ main segment of market and according to the value chains (top brand, low brand, mass market) they belong to? This study explores these issues by analysing the pattern of fragmentation of production in the footwear sector at provincia level, with data on outward processing trade (OPT) collected by Associazione Nazionale Calzaturieri Italiani (ANCI). Furthermore, it focuses on two case studies, Brenta and Barletta, in order to compare two districts characterised by a specialisation in different segments of the market. In the footwear districts investigated, we find evidence of differences in international delocalisation strategies and argue that these different patterns of specialisation are closely related with clusters’ market position. We suggest that the diverse patterns of specialisation condition the potential for industrial upgrading.
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