A Handbook of Industrial Districts
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A Handbook of Industrial Districts

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).
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Chapter 37: Industrial Districts in Spain

Josep-Antoni Ybarra


Josep-Antoni Ybarra 1. INTRODUCTION Industrial districts (IDs) in Spain are productive realities that have accompanied the transformation of the economy in general. They have been particularly important at times of profound change (economic crises, modifications of general Spanish policy, opening up of the economy, and so on); accordingly, it could be said that they are productive and social entities that are better able to overcome crises. Globalisation puts them once again in a situation where they have to face new challenges. A new industrial policy designed to meet the requirements and characteristics of Spanish IDs offers them a new opportunity. 2. THE BIRTH OF IDs IN SPAIN The existence of IDs in Spain has accompanied the evolution of the Spanish economy over the course of time. Traditionally, there have always been towns specialised in certain aspects of production, where the physical resources of the environment or geostrategic conditioning factors have determined the way in which their economies have developed (as in the case of everyday consumer products such as textiles, footwear, ceramics, food, metal goods). This tradition has meant that, in some cases, the level of know-how and the sense of identity related to the activity in question have become firmly rooted at a local level, leading very often, in the case of Spain, to the subsequent development of IDs. However, in the beginning, their importance in the Spanish economy as a whole did not extend beyond the limits of their own communities or surrounding areas. For the Spanish economy,...

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