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A Handbook of Industrial Districts

A Handbook of Industrial Districts

Elgar original reference

Edited by Giacomo Becattini, Marco Bellandi and Lisa De Propis

In this comprehensive original reference work, the editors have brought together an unrivalled group of distinguished scholars and practitioners to comment on the historical and contemporary role of industrial districts (IDs).

Chapter 45: The Scope of Industrial Districts in the Third World

Werner Sengenberger

Subjects: economics and finance, industrial economics, regional economics, urban and regional studies, regional economics


Werner Sengenberger 1. Foreword Industrial districts (IDs) may be viewed as instruments of economic and social development. They may help to reduce widespread poverty and income gaps within and between nations. This chapter aims at exploring the chances for the emergence, growth and viability of IDs in developing countries. Particular attention is paid to the economic, social and institutional environment prevailing in various parts of the developing world and the impact of economic globalisation. 2. Scope for IDs in the Third World In taking a broader perspective on the chances for the emergence and viability of IDs in developing countries, both favourable and adverse predicaments can be identified. First of all, it helps if a country has a setting conducive to manufacturing industries. Manufacturing is important for development because it is the most stable source of higher incomes and jobs in a locality due to its large potential to improve productivity. Virtually all cases of IDs studied in Italy and elsewhere in the industrialised countries, but also all instances of IDs or clusters in the developing world, relate to the manufacturing sector. Most of the districts that have become known produce durable consumer goods, but there are also IDs operating in the investment goods sector. Starting from this observation we may expect that IDs are more likely to be found in countries with a comparatively large industry or manufacturing sector. While in almost all advanced industrialised countries the share of employment in industry is more than 20 per cent, and...

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