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The Elgar Companion to the Economics of Property Rights

The Elgar Companion to the Economics of Property Rights

Elgar original reference

Edited by Enrico Colombatto

Economics is a matter of choice and growth, of interaction and exchange among individuals. Because property rights define the rules of these interactions and the objects of exchange, it is vital to fully understand the institutions and implications of the various property-rights regimes. With over 20 original and specially commissioned chapters, this book takes the reader from the historical and moral foundations of the discipline to the frontiers of scholarly research in the field.

Chapter 21: Collective Property Rights for Economic Development: The Case of the Ceramics Cultural District in Caltagirone, Sicily

Tiziana Cuccia and Walter Santagata

Subjects: economics and finance, public choice theory, public sector economics, politics and public policy, public choice


Tiziana Cuccia and Walter Santagata* Introduction Murano is famous all over the world for its exquisite glassware, created by designers with great aesthetic taste and refined technological know-how. In Arezzo, Vicenza and Valenza Po, hundreds of goldsmiths work precious metals and diamonds using a combination of traditional techniques and original creativity: Como’s printed silks, Prato’s fabrics, Biella’s fine wool, and Faenza’s, Albissola’s and Caltagirone’s artistic ceramics are other examples of localized production of culture-based goods. This diffused system of localized small firms with a high aesthetic and intellectual content makes Italy the land of cultural districts par excellence (Santagata 2002a, 2004). Italy, more than other countries, provides favourable conditions for so many small firms to flourish, for community cultures to thrive; for the development of the necessary know-how and conditions to turn an area of craftsmanship into an industrial cultural district. The aim of this chapter is to analyse the institutional aspects of the ceramics industry in the cultural district of Caltagirone. As the market of intangibles goods (ideas, forms and design) develops and expands, protecting intellectual property becomes a key issue. Therefore public policies supporting the sustainable economic development of localized industry become necessary (Benghozi and Santagata 2001). From this perspective, we believe that establishing individual and collective property rights would facilitate entry into the post-Fordist industrial phase of organizational flexibility and global markets. This chapter proceeds as follows. First, Caltagirone’s ceramics industry is described and explained as a cultural district, where a range of idiosyncratic localized culture-based...

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