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The Internationalisation of Production Activities of Italian Industrial Districts


  • Giuseppe Tattara

    () (Department of Economics, University Of Venice C� Foscari)


This paper studies the evolution of the Italia industrial districts in the era of globalization. Italian districts are no longer self-contained systems of small firms where firms' competitiveness is the result of physical proximity, connected to foreign markets at the initial and the final stage of the production and distribution activity. Internationalization is analysed in the three classical forms of trade flows, foreign direct investments and foreign subcontracting. The conclusion discusses the consequences of sourcing production abroad for industrial districts. The loss of productive competences and practical knowledge, the reduction of employment and the change in the social climate that characterize the district. As a result of internationalization the final firms make profits in far away territories and the firm�s profitability is no more linked to the workers well being

Suggested Citation

  • Giuseppe Tattara, 2008. "The Internationalisation of Production Activities of Italian Industrial Districts," Working Papers 2008_13, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
  • Handle: RePEc:ven:wpaper:2008_13

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Benjamin Nefussi & Cyrille Schwellnus, 2010. "Does FDI in manufacturing cause FDI in business services? Evidence from French firm-level data," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(1), pages 180-203, February.
    2. Lisa De Propris & Nigel Driffield & Stefano Menghinello, 2005. "local industrial systems and the location of FDI in Italy," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 105-121.
    3. Ronald Findlay & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2003. "Commodity Market Integration, 1500-2000," NBER Chapters,in: Globalization in Historical Perspective, pages 13-64 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. J. Finger, 1977. "Offshore assembly provisions in the West German and Netherlands Tariffs: Trade and domestic effects," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 113(2), pages 237-249, June.
    5. Kaminski, Bartlomiej & Ng, Francis, 2001. "Trade and production fragmentation : Central European economies in European Union networks of production and marketing," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2611, The World Bank.
    6. Ilaria Mariotti & Giacinto Micucci & Pasqualino Montanaro, 2004. "Internationalisation strategies of Italian district SMEs: an analysis on firm-level data," ERSA conference papers ersa04p436, European Regional Science Association.
    7. Giuseppe Tattara & Carlo Gianelle, 2007. "Producing abroad while making profits at home:Veneto footwear and clothing industry," Working Papers 2007_35, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    8. Maggi, Elena & Mariotti, Ilaria & Boscacci, Flavio, 2007. "The indirect effects of manufacturing internationalization on logistics - Evidence from the Italian districts," Economics & Statistics Discussion Papers esdp07031, University of Molise, Dept. EGSeI.
    9. Raffaello Bronzini, 2007. "FDI Inflows, Agglomeration and Host Country Firms' Size: Evidence from Italy," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(7), pages 963-978.
    10. Bugamelli Matteo & Cipollone Piero & Infante Luigi, 2000. "L'internazionalizzazione delle imprese italiane negli anni Novanta," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 349-386.
    11. Finger, J M, 1976. "Trade and Domestic Effects of the Offshore Assembly Provision in the U.S. Tariff," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 598-611, September.
    12. Nasser Al-Mawali, 2005. "Disentangling Total Intra-Industry Trade into Horizontal and Vertical Elements," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 33(4), pages 491-492, December.
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    More about this item


    Globalization; Industrial districts; Sub-contractiong; Direct Foreign Investments;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L16 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics; Macroeconomic Industrial Structure
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out

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