© 2016

Industrial Districts in History and the Developing World

  • Tomoko Hashino
  • Keijiro Otsuka


  • Integrates economic history and development economics on the development of industrial districts for the first time

  • Inquires into the dynamic advantages of development of industrial districts beyond the Marshallian agglomeration economies

  • Provides wide geographical and temporal coverage, including the history of Japan,Spain, France, and other European countries, and contemporary development of China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and sub-Saharan Africa


Part of the Studies in Economic History book series (SEH)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Tomoko Hashino, Keijiro Otsuka
      Pages 3-12
    3. Tetsushi Sonobe, Keijiro Otsuka, Tomoko Hashino
      Pages 13-21
  3. Pivotal Role of Technology Transfer

  4. Central Role of Producer Cooperatives

  5. Supporting Role of Local Government

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 191-194

About this book


This book sheds new light on the role of industrial districts in the industrial development of the past and present. Industrial districts, which refer to the geographical concentration of enterprises producing similar or closely related commodities in a small area, play a significant role in the development of manufacturing industries not only historically in Europe and Japan but also at present in emerging East Asian economies, such as China and Vietnam and low-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The book identifies similarities in the development patterns of industrial districts in history and the present and analyzes the reasons for these similarities. More specifically, the book examines whether Marshallian agglomeration economies provide sufficient explanations and seeks to deepen understanding about the important factors that are missing.

Despite the common issues addressed by economic historians and development economists regarding the advantages of industrial districts for industrial development, discussion of these issues between the two groups of researchers has been largely absent, or at best weak. The purpose of this book is to integrate the results of case studies by economic historians interested in France, Spain, and Japan and those by development economists interested in the contemporary industries still developing in China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Tanzania, and other countries in sub-Saharan Africa. 


Industrial districts Technology transfer Innovation Collective action Social, human, and kinship networks

Editors and affiliations

  • Tomoko Hashino
    • 1
  • Keijiro Otsuka
    • 2
  1. 1.Kobe UniversityKobeJapan
  2. 2.Kobe UniversityKobeJapan

About the editors


Tomoko Hashino is a professor of economic history at Kobe University. Her research interests are in the evolutionary process of the textile industry in Japan as well as the development history of weaving districts in modern Japan. Her recent articles have appeared in the Economic History Review, Business History Review, Australian Economic History Review, and Journal of the Japanese and International Economies. Professor Hashino received her Ph.D. in economics from Hitotsubashi University in 2003. She has been a visiting fellow at the University of New South Wales, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and George Washington University.

Keijiro Otsuka is a professor of development economics at the Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University. After receiving a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago in 1979, he served as an associate professor and a professor of economics at Tokyo Metropolitan University until 2001, when he joined GRIPS, where he was professor until March 2014.

He has been working extensively on the Green Revolution, land tenancy, property rights and natural resource management, cluster-based industrial development, and poverty dynamics. His studies are primarily survey-based with comparative perspectives between Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

He received the Purple Ribbon Medal from the Japanese government in 2010 and was selected as an Honorary Life Member of the International Association of Agricultural Economists in 2012, Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (formerly the American Agricultural Economics Association) in 2013, and a Distinguished Fellow of the African Association of Agricultural Economists in 2013.  He is the coauthor or coeditor of 23 books.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking


“Nine papers examine the development of industrial districts, exploring the role of such districts in the historical development of manufacturing industries in Europe and Japan and the current development in emerging East Asian economies and low income countries in sub Saharan Africa. Papers consider whether Marshallian agglomeration economics can explain the development patterns of industrial districts and investigate common key factors that support sustainable development.” (Journal of Economic Literature, Vol. 55 (3), September, 2017)