Edited by Giacomo Becattini, Marco Bellandi and Lisa De Propis
Chapter 42: Industrial Districts in Latin America: The Role of Local Learning for Endogenous Development
Mario Davide Parrilli and Renato Garcia 1. Introduction This chapter focuses on the potential development of Marshallian industrial districts (MIDs) in Latin America. Since this concept refers to a place with a very specific cultural and social fabric and historic roots (Marshall 1920; Brusco 1982; Becattini 1990), we consider it appropriate to take into account a broader typology of local production systems (LPSs) that exceeds the traditional configuration of MIDs (Markusen 1996). This approach allows us to frame the concept of MID in the magmatic environment of Latin America where this phenomenon is seldom available, but where the MID concept may represent a powerful benchmark for local economic development. Among the key relevant features associated to the MID model and trajectory, we focus here on the learning processes that can be activated in these production systems and that enable them to embark and remain on a high-road trajectory of growth (Pyke and Sengenberger 1992). Starting with a conceptual section where the most common types of LPSs relevant for Latin America are presented, we will adopt a dynamic view on the analysis of LPS by focusing on the wider issue of development trajectories as a means to identify actual and potential development prospects. A variety of districts are briefly referred to and positioned with respect to both their typology and their recent evolution. In this sense, this contribution aims at shedding some light on the development opportunity of industrial agglomerations in Latin America and, perhaps, in the wider context of developing...
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