Rafael Boix, Fabio Sforzi, Francesc Hernández
The year 2014 marked a double anniversary: the 35th and 25th anniversaries of the publication of two seminal papers of Giacomo Becattini on the industrial district. The first paper (Becattini, 1979) conceptualizes the industrial district as a «unit of investigation», while the second (Becattini, 1989) conceptualizes the industrial district as a «model of production». Between the two papers there is a mutual dependence. The industrial district as a «model of production» deprived of the industrial district as a «unit of investigation» loses its originality as a way of interpreting economic change and becomes merely «one type of a cluster». This paper deals with the relationship between district and cluster, then also between the industrial district as a singular theoretical construct and the many industrial districts described by empirical investigations, and concludes with some remarks on the topicality of the industrial district.
Keywords: industrial district; cluster; regional economics; regional studies; economic history
This article discusses the question of what should be the proper conceptual framework for analysing productive phenomena. The cause for reflection on this topic stems from a proposal made by researchers from the Bank of Italy (Alampi et al., 2013) to analyse productive phenomena through the lens of an integrated geographical and sectorial perspective. The author proposes a reversal of the approach, arguing that the starting point for analysis should be the assumption that every place — as defined by a combination of natural conditions and the outcome of history — has at any given time a specific «productive chorality». This productive chorality is not merely derived from the technical, spatial, and cultural proximity of businesses, but also, and more importantly, from the cultural homogeneity and congruity of all the inhabitants of that place, who contribute, positively or negatively, to local production.
Keywords: industrial district; geo-sectoriality; productive chorality; local development
The studies of Giacomo Becattini concerning the notion of the «Marshallian industrial district» have led a revolution in the field of economic development around the world. The paper offers an interpretation of the methodology adopted by Becattini. The roots are clearly Marshallian. Becattini proposes a return to the economy as a complex social science that operates in historical time. We adopt a Schumpeterian approach to the method in economic analysis in order to highlight the similarities between the Marshall and Becattini’s approach. Finally the paper uses the distinction between logical time, real time and historical time which enable us to study the «localized» economic process in a Becattinian way.
Keywords: Giacomo Becattini; industrial district; Marshallian industrial district, economic methodology
Fabio Sforzi, Rafael Boix
The aim of this paper is to critically consider how the concept of «industrial district» was born and evolved in the field of regional science. Despite the claim by Isard that the emergence of a spatial dimension in economics was being hampered by Marshall’s alleged prioritising of time over space (Isard, 1956), the concept of «localization economies» introduced into regional science by Ohlin, Hoover and Isard clearly is itself a legacy from Marshall. This contradiction in the work of Isard and others followed to a large extent from the way in which Marshallian concepts were historically situated in economic thought before Giacomo Becattini’s re-reading of Marshall and his ideas. This re-reading began in the 1960s, focussing on conceptual issues related to industry (Becattini, 1962), and then culminated in the following decades with work on the idea of the «industrial district»: considering it first as a unit of investigation of economic research (Becattini, 1979) and, later, as a way of industrial development (Becattini, 1989). In brief, the originality of Marshall’s economic thought can be found in Book IV of his Principles of Economics. This originality can be seen in the statement that economics is more important as a way of studying man in society than as a way of studying wealth; and continues through the affirmation that man’s character is moulded by his daily work. That is to say, a person’s «place of living» (where individuals live and work) is important not only for the formation of human skills but also for the formation of character. The place as the unit of investigation (i.e. the «functional region») is one of the main elements which distinguishes the identity of regional science from other branches of economics.
Keywords: industrial district; regional science; regional studies; regional economics
Marco Bellandi, Lisa De Propris
The paper presents a theoretical framework for understanding the evolution of industrial districts from Marshall’s conceptualisation to today’s realities and theorisations of the industrial district as model of industrial organization and development. We discuss three generation of industrial districts: the first generations of districts were the seedbeds for the first industrial revolution. The second generations corresponded to the re-emergence of industrial districts in advanced and industrialised countries during the second half of the twentieth century, after the golden age of mass production. The current and third generation is being revealed resorting to scholarly observation. We will argue that each generation of industrial districts have emerged and grown in correspondence with specific technological, institutional and market conditions. Some evidence from the Italian case is presented.
Keywords: industrial district; manufacturing; local economic development
The literature regarding ID/C is based on seminal writings of Marshall, followed by Giacomo Becattini’s rediscovering of the concept of an «industrial district». But the concept of a «cluster» was also promoted during the 1980s by Porter, and highlighted the importance of geographically clustered and interconnected firms and institutions specialised in a particular field. Despite the model of ID/C has been often described as locally self-contained, various empirical researches and our analysis have pointed out its increasing involvement in the process of internationalization. The recent entry and exit of MNEs, and the phenomena of off-shoring did not question the model of ID/C per se, but it contributed to showing how interwoven the evolution of local economies and MNEs is.
Keywords: industrial districts; clusters; MNEs; off-shoring; re-shoring
José Luís Hervás Oliver
This article focuses on understanding why multinational enterprises co-locate in industrial districts, stressing, unfolding and describing the potential of the local or regional-level agglomerations of people and firms which permits multinational enterprises to obtain additional sources of competitive advantage when properly fit. In order to fulfil this goal, the paper presents an attempt to link the literature of industrial districts and economic geography with that on international business. Three theoretical frameworks are tested in an empirical case. The paper has implications for the two lines of literature and opens up a key debate for the future.
Keywords: industrial districts; economic geography; international business; off-shoring, MNEs
José Á. Aznar-Sánchez, Anselmo Carretero-Gómez, Juan F. Velasco-Muñoz
Marble quarries in Macael have been exploited since ancient times but its complex industrial district had to wait till the fifties to emerge. This industrial district includes extraction, processing and marketing activities. In the 1980s some development programmes were designed in order to modernize and boost the marble sector. Since then, it has become an international reference for ornamental stones. The sector has undergone a great transformation: from being a mining agglomeration to become an industrial district. This shift has provided the district with a great dynamism and resilience. Moreover, its competition position has considerably changed. It used to be based on comparative advantages but nowadays it is based on competitive advantages. In its heart a nodal enterprise Cosentino has emerged, which has become an international leader on a global scale.
Keywords: marble, Almería, local development policy, industrial district, crisis
María Jesús Ruiz Fuensanta, Francesc Hernández Sancho, Vicent Soler i Marco
The wine sector holds a prominent place within the whole Spanish food and agriculture industry. The importance given to this activity has also been transferred to the international market where Spain holds a position of leadership, both in terms of production as in overseas sales. A large number of the wine-producing firms in our country are located in industrial districts, which is to say in geographical areas characterised by a high concentration of small and medium-sized companies whose productive organisation corresponds to a model based on flexible specialisation. In previous papers, it has been possible to verify how wine-producing industries located in industrial areas show greater efficiency in relation to rivals located in other types of environments. The aim of this article is to further research on the specific features of industrial districts which could explain their firms’ increase in efficiency. For the identification and quantification of these determining factors affecting productive efficiency, a methodology based on parametric adjustments models is to be used. An empirical application is to be carried out on a sample of Spanish wine producers for the years 2000 and 2010, extracted from the SABI database.
Keywords: Industrial districts; Productive efficiency; wine sector
M.ª Elisa Álvarez López, Rafael Myro Sánchez, Josefa Vega Crespo
The question of delocation in main industrial regions across the EU
María del Rocío Moreno Enguix, Marcos Antón Renart, José Antonio Vidal Hernández-Mora
is approached here, and its effects on job losses estimated. Seventy five regions are
selected following the double criteria of size of the manufacturing industries and
high per capita income levels. Delocation affected half of them in the period 2000-
2005 when competition in the international markets rose and is of higher intensity
in most of the British, French and Italian regions although its aggregate effect on
employment seems to have been offset by growth in the other sectors. On the other
hand, regions located in the continental area with more market potential have the
highest concentration of location effects. Therefore delocation has changed the
location of European manufacturing industry, benefitting those latter regions and
perhaps bringing higher spatial concentration.
Pedro Casares, Pablo Coto-Millán , Vicente Inglada López de Sabando
The present work endeavours to carry out a study of the weaknesses/
errors detected by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) in the reports presented
by 15 European countries on the economic and financial management of Structural
Funds in the period ranging from 2000 to 2006. The aim of our study is focused
on the description and analysis of the number and nature of the errors/weaknesses
made by the member states, carrying out an empirical analysis on the possible
causes at the root of this situation, conducting a study with univariate and multivariate
statistical techniques, using a probit choice model type and least squares
estimation. Amongst other conclusions, the current study establishes that the new
Council Regulation has had an uneven effect on the different countries, and that the
volume of such errors/weaknesses detected in the reports of the EU member states
is linked to the amount of resources allocated to each member state per Structural
The model proposed in this paper characterizes economic development
Maria Manuela Natário, João Pedro Almeida Couto, Maura Helena Couto de Sousa
as a three-phase process that involves: 1) non-market exogenous factors such
as territory, amenities, tolerance, diversity, artists and University, which attract
and produce talent; 2) talent that leads to the production of innovation and technology;
and, 3) the combination of exogenous factors with talent, innovation and
technology, which generates economic production. The process basically consists
in that non-market exogenous factors such as territorial, cultural, institutional,
regional factors together with diversity and University influence the production
and attraction of talent, which in turn influences the production of innovation and technology and, lastly, the right combination of the previous factors generates
This paper examines the innovation processes of Small and Medium
Mónica Martí Sempere , Carmen Ródenas Calatayud
Enterprises (SMEs) in peripheral areas, particularly in the municipality of Guarda
and in the islands of Sao Miguel and Santa Maria in the Azores. For this purpose, a
survey was conducted, and three models were estimated: a Logit model, to measure
the difference between firms that innovate and those that do not; a Tobit model,
to measure the intensity of innovation; and a Probit model to analyze the type of
innovation. The results show a positive relationship between the introduction of innovations
in the market sector and the age and activity of the companies, an inverse
relationship in regards to the size of the company and in relation to the region.
This paper investigates the reasons that lead migrants to perform
Fernando Rubiera-Morollón, Esteban Fernández-Vázquez, Elizabeth Aponte-Jaramillo
multiple migrations in Spain. After describing the main features of these immigrants,
we specify a binomial logit and multinomial probit in which the probability
of re-migration depends on the personal characteristics of individuals and the
corresponding origins and destinations of their migratory paths. The information
used comes from the microdata of the Residence Variation Statistic. Results indicate
that repeated migration of nationals and non nationals respond to different
reasons. The analysis suggests that foreigners’ re-migrations depend on the results of their labor experiences, whereas other reasons can be found in those of
Goerlich, F. y Mas, M.
The relationship between city size and territorial productivity has
attracted much attention in the urban economic literature. Some theories on the
field claim for a strong positive correlation between the size of the municipalities
and their income, mainly motivated by economical reasons, geographical characteristics
or other factor of the urban environment. Unfortunately, in many countries the empirical research on this topic is not possible given the lack of data of income
at a local level. This paper proposes the use of entropy econometrics to estimate
urban income and urban productivity according to city size from aggregate information,
which can be defined as an exercise of ecological inference. With the estimated
data a regional classification based on the relevance of the cities size allows
us to measure the relevance of agglomeration economics on the cities productivity
This paper looks at localization patterns in municipal population in Spain along the XX century. Using a homogeneous data base of population at the municipal level constructed from the eleven censuses from 1900 until 2001 the paper describes the general patterns of population concentration from different perspectives.
The main contribution of the paper is to offer a precise quantification of some demographic patterns, already well identified from a more qualitative perspective.
This paper studies the sources of economic growth in the Basque
Country and its three historic territories (Araba, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa), Navarre, and
Spain during 1986-2004, emphasizing the role of infrastructures and Information and
Communication Technologies (ICT) on growth, and comparing the results with those
of the EU and the US. First, the growth rate of output was higher in Navarre and
Spain than in the US, and much higher than in the EU. The Basque Country exhibited
a better performance only during 1995-2004. Second, labor and capital were the main
engines of output growth. The growth in TFP was residual and even declining in the
period 1995-2004 due to the increasing contribution of labor. Those results contrast
with the pattern for the US especially, where growth in TFP remained substantial.
Third, infrastructures contributed approximately 0,10% to output growth. Fourth, the
contribution of ICT capital to output growth was around 0,35% and it increased in the
period 1995-2004. However, it is still far from the levels for the EU and especially
the US. Finally, the growth rate of output per hour was above 1,20%, while the Basque
Country lagged behind. Growth in capital intensity was the main source of labor
productivity growth. While the contribution of infrastructures to the growth rate of
output per hour declined in the period 1995-2004, that of ICT capital increased. Nevertheless the contribution of ICT capital to the growth rate of output per hour remains
behind that for the EU and the US.
Puig,F., Berbel, J. y Debón, A.
The aim of this work is to analyse the different impact of competitive
environment changes across different indicators in the competitive environment on
the Spanish companies of the textile and apparel industry.
The results obtained from the contrast upon a sample composed by 5.531 SMEs of
this sector show a important role of the territory and of the strategy of internationalization.
For this reason, given the trend of this industry to the concentration and geographical
specialization it is expected that the effect of these changes is irregular and
asymmetrical between the main producing Spanish regions.
Antúnez, A. y Sanjuán, J.
Cluster analysis has become a popular instrument in determining the
innovativeness and competitive power of national and regional economies. A wide
variety of methods have been employed by researchers to identify the key industrial
clusters in a regional economy. This paper reports the results of practicable
methodologies for identifying aggregate economic clusters so-called megaclusters
in Andalusia, using the last available input output data (year 2000). The
first method used, based in graph theory, classifies sectors according to substantial
mutual dependency through their deliveries and purchases. The second one, based
on the application of principal components to the input-output table, provide clusters
according to the similarity of the intermediate purchases and/or the intermediate
This paper provides empirical evidence on the differences in the use of
fixed-term contracts across the Spanish regions, and on its origin. An extension of the
traditional Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition to non-linear model is, for the first time,
applied to the analysis of these regional differences. Results point to differences in
the use of temporality in Spain, as there are significant regional disparities in the use of fixed-term employment as a tool for labour flexibility. These differences have even
a higher impact than those caused by regional heterogeneity in workers and firms endowment of observable characteristics. In the light of this evidence, policies designed
to fight against the anomalously high rate of temporality is Spain should be questioned,
as they have not taken into account regional uniqueness.
Roberto Ezcurra, Pedro Pascual y Manuel Rapún
The aim of this paper is to analyse the mobility of per capita income distribution in the European regions during the period 1977-1996. In doing so we will attempt highlight some aspects of the nature of interregional inequality. Our methodological approach involves calculating different indicators commonly used in the dynamic income distribution literature. The results obtained show that the degree of mobility is relatively low within the distribution under analysis. In addition our empirical findings suggest a trend towards a reduction in regional mobility throughout the period of analysis coinciding with sustained interregional inequality in the European Union.
The article offers some reflections on the important changes that local development has experienced along the last decades. In particular, it emphasizes the strong and increasing presence of uncertainties and the complex character of the actual urban and territorial problems. All this must be confronted to the requirements of governability, the importance of institutions and social co-operation. The article underline some positive aspects of the innovative milieux as an example of creating «social capital», this concept particularly understood as «relationships capital». The final section of the article emphasizes the advantages of the urban strategic plans, built through very participative processes aiming to get cooperation agreements between the economic agents, the citizens and the local authorities. According to the author, the urban strategic plans are an excellent instrument leading to new forms of self-organization and better governability because it helps the city, the citizens and not only the local administration to be placed into the center of the decision processes and the local transformations.
Consuelo Gámez Amián y José Ignacio García Pérez
The present article studies migration rates in between andalucian provincies and also between them and the rest of Spain. Using administrative data from Spanish Social Security, we are able to identify not only permanent migrants but also those who migrate only to do a temporary job during a short term period. We find that migration in Andalucia is mainly in between andalucian provincies although, when we control by distance, the main destinations are Madrid and the Baleares islands. Moreover, these flows are higher for males and highly qualified workers. We estimate a model for the probability of migrating and find that andalucian workers go mainly to provincies with relatively high levels of income, higher real wages and low home prices. We also obtain that the differences in unemployment rates between the origin and the destination is a fundamental motivation of the probability of migrating.
Antonio Moreno y M.a Eugenia Prieto
This paper addresses the evaluation of several procedures for delimiting service areas of urban transport facilities and computing the served population. To this end, detailed data of a local case study and a geographical information system are used. Adopting two different georeferencing methods and two spatial metrics, the tested approaches reveal disparate results and errors, which allow to appreciate the advantages and limitations of each one. It is expected that the conclusions will contribute to increase the accuracy of analysis focused to urban public transport planning and decision taking.
Francisco José Delgado Rivero
After the reforms introduced in Spanish personal income tax (IRPF) in 1998, foral and common territory tax structures present differentiated structures. These normative differences are reviewed in the first part of the paper. Reforms are analysed by an static microsimulation using a sample from Spanish IRPF Taxpayers Panel. The results show that the Basque design supposes a fiscal pressure by IRPF slightly superior to the one of the common territory, next to a greater degree of progressivity and redistribution. The Navarrese system throws a fiscal pressure similar to the Basque, but with the progressivity and redistributive capacity of the common design, results derived from Kakwani and Reynolds-Smolensky indicators.
Manuel Alejandro Cardenete y Ferran Sancho
The main goal of this paper is to present a recent Social Accounting Matrix for the region of Andalusia (SAMAND95). Using a variety of available data, such as the Regional Income and Product Accounts, the 1995 Input-Output Table for Andalusia, as well as some national level data, we have constructed a square SAM that reflects all flows and interactions for the base year. With the database we have performed a modeling exercise that allows us to obtain accounting multipliers, and their decomposition into direct, indirect, and induced effects, that show some of the structural relationship among productive sectors.
Javier J. Pérez, Jesús Rodríguez y Carlos Usabiaga
The Okun law for Andalusia and Spain is estimated using quarterly data (1984-2000). We take a VAR approach that allows us to unveil the different dynamic behaviour of the relationship between the output gap and the unemployment gap in the two economies, as well as the asymmetric nature of that relationship. Our findings also suggest that the lower responsiveness of the unemployment gap to the output gap in Andalusia is related to two main factors: the flows out of the labour force in recession are larger in Andalusia, and the higher share of the agrarian unemployment.
Publication and documentation
Books and publications
Mario Duarte Canever, Alberto Pérez Chueca, Richard Pfeilstetter
This article deals with the currently widely discussed entrepreneurial
Judith Clifton, Daniel Díaz-Fuentes, Marcos Fernández-Gutiérrez, Julio Revuelta
orientation (EO) and investigates the roles this concept actually plays within
the LEADER+ development program and its implementation in three European
territories. The main question addressed in this analysis is whether or not the
LEADER+ envisaged EO as a basic element for rural development. Can we really
observe both at the rhetoric and at the implementation levels impacts of the EO on
the LEADER+? To answer this question the official programmatic documents of
the EU community initiative LEADER+ are analyzed against the background of
the most important EO concepts and characteristics. Subsequently, a deeper look
in the implementation of LEADER+ in three European territories shows that the
EO still has little impact in the actions implemented. Some major contradictory
rhetoric of the LEADER+ is identified regarding EO and its importance to the development
program. As well as some important suggestions for improving future
development program can be derived from the analysis. These show that, despite
the lack of focus on EO by the LEADER+, the concept has the potential to make a
significant contribution to the successful development of regions.
This paper analyzes from a regional perspective the use of Services
of General Economic Interest (SGEI), to which general access in equal conditions
is considered key for social and territorial cohesion by European regulation
In order to do so, citizens’ revealed preferences with respect to SGEI according to the characteristics of their place of residence are analyzed. Results
identify patterns of SGEI use by region, and also find lower use of some services
in areas of low population density related to access problems. These results have
significant implications for SGEI regulation in regional terms.
This work is focused on testing the following hypothesis: “The competitiveness
of a Portuguese professional soccer team is influenced by the economic
development level of the surrounding region.” Using a rational choice model and
working with binary time-series cross-sectional data, this work focuses on a Portuguese
professional soccer team from 1970 to 1999. This is the first work on the teams
and economy of Portugal that tests this hypothesis. The results corroborate the main
importance of three factors that increase the probability that a municipality will
house the head office of a team that plays in the first league: 1) the per capita income,
2) level of infrastructures, and 3) demographic dimension.
Margarita Argüelles y Carmen Benavides
A Social Accounting Matrix is an integrated system of accounts that presents in a double-entry table all the transactions made in an economy among productive sectors, production factors, institutional sectors and the rest of the world. In comparison with an Input-Output Table, it offers a greater deal of information and shows completely the circular process of income, captivating more precisely the effects of exogenous changes. One of the main profits of a Social Accounting Matrix is to serve as a database for the development and application of a computable general equilibrium model. This is, in fact, the aim pursued with the elaboration of the Social Accounting Matrix for the Asturian economy presented here. This Matrix has been constructed with data from the 1995 Regional Accounts of Asturias, and its structure has been adapted to its future use as a database for a computable general equilibrium model of this regional economy.
Panorama and Debate
Rafael Boix, Luciana Lazzeretti
Creativity is the ability to generate something new, merging data,
perceptions and matters in order to produce new and useful things. About 22% of
the Spanish employees belong to the «creative class» and about 5.7% of the production
comes from the «creative industries». Despite these data, the general research
focusing on the creative economy in Spain is poor. The aim of this article is to fill
this space by providing a general view of the creative economy in Spain, focused
on the «creative industries». The article introduces the basic theoretical aspects, the
measurement of creativity, compared data about production, employment and the
location of creative industries, as well as the discussion about policy.
Economic globalization has rendered innovation policy as the main
instrument for improving or keeping the threatened competitiveness of firms
and regions. This article analyzes the level of innovation in Spain, the role played by
Information and Communication Technologies in regional growth, the fundamentals
for public intervention and the regional Spanish Research, Development and innovation
Enoch Albertí Rovira
European Regional Policy
This paper focuses on the new architecture of Cohesion Policy and
the new European financial framework within which it is set. The discussion is divided
into five sections. Section one examines the structure of the new European Financial
Framework, highlighting its impact on financial transfers between Europe
and Spain. In section two the new architecture of Cohesion Policy is explained,
pointing out the relationships with related agriculture and fisheries policies and ending
with an assessment of the principal features of the new Cohesion policy architecture.
Section three examines the financial resources behind Cohesion Policy and
their distribution in Spain. In section four the discussion shifts to a consideration of
the concepts of convergence and the nature of regions. Finally the conclusion suggests
that there are significant administrative, financial and strategic planning implications
of the new financial framework and remodelled Cohesion policy: for economic
development in general and for regional development in particular over the
Núria Bosch, Marta Espasa, Albert Solé Ollé (eds.)
Por Molero, J.
Por Boix, R.
Por Aurioles, J.
Por Maudos, J.
K.A. Melachroinos, J. Villaverde, E.I González, N. Ortega