Pathways of Innovation: The I-District Effect Revisited

  • Rafael BoixEmail author
  • Vittorio Galletto
  • Fabio Sforzi
Part of the Advances in Spatial Science book series (ADVSPATIAL)


The I-district effect establishes the existence of dynamic efficiency in Marshallian industrial districts in the form of a positive innovative differential comparing to the average of the economy. The hypothesis has been empirically validated for the case of technological innovation using patent indicators. Empirical research has assumed that all types of patentable figures (utility models, national patents, EPO, WIPO) have the same weight regardless of its actual or expected market value, which may be questionable given the differences in coverage, protection and cost of each figure. In this article, we question the existence of the I-district effect when each patent is weighted by its expected potential value. As the I-district effect theory predicts, the relative differential effect is maintained even in the presence of the weighting, rejecting that the industrial district specializes only in low-quality patents. However, in this case, the primacy of industrial district as the most innovative local production system can be outpaced by other local production systems.


Industrial districts I-district effect Technological innovation Patents 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departament d’Estructura Econòmica, Facultat d’EconomiaUniversitat de ValènciaValenciaSpain
  2. 2.Institut d’Estudis Regionals i Metropolitans de Barcelona, Plaça del Coneixement, Edifici MRA, planta 2Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Campus de BellaterraBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Economia, Facoltà di EconomiaUniversità degli Studi di ParmaParmaItaly

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