Creative Cities, Cultural Clusters and Local Economic Development

Creative Cities, Cultural Clusters and Local Economic Development

New Horizons in Regional Science series

Edited by Philip Cooke and Luciana Lazzeretti

This book analyses the economic development of cities from the ‘cultural economy’ and ‘creative industry’ perspectives, examining and differentiating them as two related but distinct segments of contemporary city economies. The authors argue that although they are normally conflated, the first is largely subsidized while the second is highly entrepreneurial hence they actually make very different kinds of contribution to a city’s character, attractiveness and competitiveness.

Chapter 5: Collective Trademarks and Cultural Districts: The Case of San Gregorio Armeno, Naples

Tiziana Cuccia, Massimo Marrelli and Walter Santagata

Subjects: economics and finance, cultural economics, regional economics, geography, cities, urban and regional studies, cities, clusters, regional economics


Tiziana Cuccia, Massimo Marrelli and Walter Santagata1 1. INTRODUCTION From an economic point of view, trademarks are distinctive symbols which facilitate trade (Landes and Posner, 1987). On the one hand, they enable consumers to easily recognize the goods they are going to buy, thus reducing transaction costs; on the other hand, they allow producers to highlight their products and to positively invest in reputation (Shapiro, 1983). This is the traditional role of trademarks, both individual and collective. However, the role of these distinctive marks is much more complex when they are used as instruments for the promotion and enhancement of cultural districts. There are many cases of localized agglomerations of micro and small firms which may be considered as districts. They generate a network of positive externalities able to sustain an endogenous process of local development – the main reference here is to the industrial cultural districts of what is known as ‘Terza Italia’, which had its boom periods in the 1960s and 1970s (Bagnasco, 1988; Becattini, 1987; 1989). Moreover, there are many other cases where the localized agglomerations of firms – based on the idiosyncrasies of the territory – have not been able to build that social and economic network of horizontal and vertical linkages among local producers which gives rise to the agglomeration externalities on which the district model is founded. In these cases, which may be called ‘potential cultural districts’, institutional interventions play an important role in turning the potential district into a real one, for example through the introduction...

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