Utilising a wide array of data and rich empirical evidence drawn from a large sample of industrial districts (IDs), Ivana Paniccia presents a realistic, state-of-the-art analysis of their socio-economic structure and performance. This extensive yet detailed study adopts a wide perspective, integrating historical evidence and different streams of literature - from industrial to regional economics - into testable hypotheses.
The multidisciplinary, quantitative approach adopted by the author, enables her to `de-structure' the `canonical' idea of the ID and evaluate the normative value. Supported by multivariate and econometric analyses, she identifies four general types of ID each with different development paths, performances, inter-organizational relations, and regulatory rules and institutions. The results demonstrate that IDs on average achieve better static or dynamic economic performance than non-ID areas. The analysis also highlights critical points of rupture in the socio-economic equilibrium of IDs which may impair their future competitiveness and social sustainability. The author offers a critical appraisal of the organizational literature on IDs, claiming for caution in their depiction as `cooperative systems' and goes on to present the first steps towards a `microfoundation' of a theory on IDs.
Providing the methodology to monitor the performance and evolution of IDs, together with precise policy suggestions, this book will appeal to a broad range of scholars and researchers in a variety of disciplines including regional, industrial and institutional economics, organizational studies and industrial sociology.
Ivana Paniccia, Responsabile Area Studi e Analisi Economiche, Agenzia per il Controllo e la Qualita dei Servizi Pubblici Locali del Comune di Roma, Italy
Contents: Introduction and Outline Part I: Theoretical Foundations/Perspectives 1. A Critical Review of the Literature on Industrial Districts: In Search of a Theory 2. Operationalizing Industrial Districts Part II: Empirical Results 3. Organizational Variety and Performance of Industrial Districts 4. The Growth and Decline of Industrial Districts 5. A `Differentiated' Policy for Industrial Districts 6. Conclusions and Research Implications Appendix References Index