Agglomeration, Clusters and Entrepreneurship

Agglomeration, Clusters and Entrepreneurship

Studies in Regional Economic Development

New Horizons in Regional Science series

Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Börje Johansson and Roger R. Stough

Regional economic development has experienced considerable dynamism over recent years. Perhaps the most notable cases were the rise of China and India to emergent country status by the turn of the millennium. With time now for hindsight, this book identifies some of the key forces behind these development successes, namely agglomeration, clusters and entrepreneurship.

Chapter 5: Determinants of MNC location choice in industrial districts: an empirical analysis in Italy

Nunzia Carbonara and Ilaria Giannoccaro

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, economics and finance, economics of innovation, regional economics, innovation and technology, economics of innovation, urban and regional studies, clusters, regional economics


The research on industrial districts (IDs) in recent years has focused more and more on issues concerning the competitiveness and the survival of these local production systems. The main open questions include the following (Biggiero, 2006; Crouch et al., 2001; Rabelotti et al., 2009): 1. Can the IDs whose competitive advantage seems to rest on the colocation of various phases of production survive? 2. How can IDs face the challenges from globalization and digitalization? 3. Can the delocalization and relocation processes determine IDs' recession or decline? Based on Marshall (1920), the agglomeration economies associated with the spatial concentration of production include readily available specialized and skilled labor, privileged access to local suppliers that offer a great variety of highly specialized inputs and easy and rapid access to specific technical knowledge, all of which are cost-based benefits for co-located firms (pecuniary externalities). However, in a global economy, firms can gain a cost-based competitive advantage by delocalizing their production processes in low-cost countries. This phenomenon has involved some IDs developing a hollow-out process and has led scholars to theorize a decline of this production model.

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