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Edited by Giacomo Becattini, Marco Bellandi and Lisa De Propis
Chapter 26: The Empirical Evidence of Industrial Districts in Spain
26. The empirical relevance of industrial districts in Spain Rafael Boix 1. Introduction During the period between 1996 and 2007, the economic develop ent model m of Spain was based on the expansion of a demand driven by the construction sector. This model generated rapid growth although was exclu ively based s on the use of cheap labour and nil or marginal contributions of capital and total factor productivity. After the general elections of March 2004, there was a change of party leadership in the Spanish government. Jointly with the maintenance of macroeconomic stability, one of the priorities of the new government was to induce a change in the development model of the Spanish economy, where productivity, competitiveness and innovation had to become the key variables. The manufacturing sector was perceived as central to these objectives. In contrast with the neoliberal approach to the industrial policy of the preceding government, the new government recovered the Ministry of Industry and assigned it the key role of leading such a change in the productive model. Looking for new instruments for the industrial policy, the Ministry of Industry decided to consider the elaboration of the first map of Marshallian industrial districts (MID) in Spain (Boix and Galletto 2006), which was carried out using the Italian ISTAT (1997) methodology. For the first time, the map allowed MIDs to be quantified and showed that they were a widespread reality in Spain and that their quantitative importance was similar to that of Italy. In fact, this...
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