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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Giovanni Sollinas


SECTION 11 Public policies and industrial development strategies Introduction Giovanni Solinas 1. Alternative approaches to IDs and local development This Handbook hosts two ways of seeing industrial districts (IDs) and local development. The first revolves around the various kinds of interconnections and interdependencies – in technologies, markets, competencies – developing among the local producers. In this view, competitiveness relies upon the specific nature of such interconnections and interdependencies: the analysis of the interconnections developing within a local production system (LPS) provides a complete understanding of the specialisation and the division of labor among the firms, and of the attractiveness for traders and buyers. The understanding of these interconnections explains the realisation of positive externalities and of Marshallian external economies. In other words, the denseness of this ideal map (in terms of quantity and quality) is what determines the growth of the local system. The second interpretation includes something more, which cannot be fully explained by any map of interconnections and interdependencies. It includes a cooperative factor that helps the network of industrial interdependencies with institutional and regulative support, and is rooted in the social relations of the local actors. The relative wealth (both potential and actual) of the ID also relies on this cooperative element, and not merely on the technological and productive relations. The two interpretations constitute the underlying theme of the introduction to this section on the policies to promote IDs and local development in industrialized, emerging and developing countries. 705 706 Globalisation and industrial districts 2. Levels of policies...

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