Becattini, G.

About the marshallian industrial district and the theory of the contemporary district. A brief critical reconstruction

As a departing point, the paper presents the historical genesis of the
concept of industrial district focusing on the scientific views of the pioneer of this field, Alfred Marshall. The concept has its origins in the observation of the current industrial
reality, mainly of the British one. The purpose is to give an explanation to the
difficulties of the classic theory and to study the challenges of the class conflicts.
The economic conditions which launched British industrial districts were present,
grosso modo, in Italy after the second World War. Some contributions have dealt with
the little industrialisation of some Italian regions and using Marshallian thoughts
have rediscovered the industrial districts phenomenon. This is the starting point of a
high number of scientific contribution in Italy and abroad. Some of these international
studies, particularly the ones made by Spanish experts, are quoted. The text analyses
the link between districts-made in Italy with the competitive advantages of Italian
products in many economic activities (i.e. clothing, shoes, furniture, etc.). Finally, in
the third part the paper reviews some new contributions on the industrial district in

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