How Do Italian Footwear Industrial Districts Face Globalization

European Planning Studies, Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 485-502

Posted: 15 Feb 2010

See all articles by Alessia A. Amighini

Alessia A. Amighini

Università del Piemonte Orientale; Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan

Roberta Rabellotti

University of Pavia

Date Written: February 11, 2010

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of globalisation of production on the Italian footwear sector and investigates the structural changes taking place in some shoe districts as they join international production networks.

The following questions are discussed: Are Italian footwear districts specialising in particular phases of the production cycle? Is there a trend towards the reduction of activities carried out within districts? Or are different patterns emerging according to the districts’ main market segment and to the value chains (e.g. luxury fashion market or mass market) they belong to?

The study explores these issues using data on outward processing trade (OPT) collected by Associazione Nazionale Calzaturieri Italiani (ANCI) to analyse the fragmentation of production in the footwear sector at “provincia” level. The available disaggregation of data allows us to investigate the different outsourcing strategies and emerging trends within the district. Two case studies are presented; one on Riviera del Brenta in Veneto and the other on Barletta in Puglia.

In the footwear districts investigated, we find evidence of different international delocalisation strategies. We argue that these different patterns of specialisation are closely related to the clusters’ market position and suggest that these patterns influence the clusters’ potential for future competitiveness.

Keywords: industrial district, fragmentation, footwear industry

JEL Classification: L67, L22

Suggested Citation

Amighini, Alessia A. and Rabellotti, Roberta, How Do Italian Footwear Industrial Districts Face Globalization (February 11, 2010). European Planning Studies, Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 485-502 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1551501

Alessia A. Amighini

Università del Piemonte Orientale ( email )

Via Perrone 18
28100 Novara
Italy

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan ( email )

Largo Gemelli, 1
Via Necchi 9
Milan, MI 20123
Italy

Roberta Rabellotti (Contact Author)

University of Pavia ( email )

Corso Strada Nuova, 65
27100 Pavia, 27100
Italy

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