The structural evolution of industrial districts and adaptive competitive advantages

  • Giulio Cainelli
  • Roberto Zoboli
Part of the Contributions to Economics book series (CE)


Italian industrial districts (IDs) and local systems of production (LSPs) are receiving increasing attention by economic research and economic policy even at the international level1. After the classical contribution by Becattini (1979 and 1989) and Brusco (1982), a great number of works have been published recently on this topic (see, for example, Bagella and Becchetti, 2000; Belussi and Gottardi, 2000; Guerrieri et al., 2001; Quadrio Curzio and Fortis, 2002). ISTAT, the Italian Statistical Office, and the Bank of Italy have carried out extensive inquiries on various aspects of IDs and LSPs (see, among others, Signorini, 2000). At the same time, significant efforts have been made at the different levels of government, from national to local, to create specific instruments of industrial policy suitable for IDs and LSPs, up to arriving at the adoption of the Italian national Law 317 of 1991 on SMEs and industrial districts. Although the feasibility of defining IDs on legislative grounds based on statistical criteria has been widely debated — and the above-mentioned law institutionalising IDs did have little practical significance, this policy process suggests the great importance attached to IDs for the Italian economy.


Foreign Direct Investment Multinational Enterprise Industrial District Foreign Affiliate Italian Economy 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giulio Cainelli
    • 1
  • Roberto Zoboli
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.National Research CouncilUniversity of Bari and CERIS-DSEMilanItaly
  2. 2.CERIS-DSENational Research CouncilMilanItaly
  3. 3.Catholic UniversityMilanItaly

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