The Industrial District: From Marshall to Becattini

Il pensiero economico italiano, a. XVI, n. 2, 2008, pp. 71-80.

10 Pages Posted: 13 May 2012  

Fabio Sforzi

University of Parma - Dipartimento di Economia

Date Written: May 11, 2012

Abstract

This paper examines how the concept of industrial district, widely recognised as an Italian construct, took shape. It assesses to what extent the concept was tailored to fit the peculiar trait of the Italian economic development, as is claimed by some international authors, and to what extent it is the product of an original interpretation of the thought of Alfred Marshall. The concept of industrial district is probably the most important and is certainly best-known idea of Giacomo Becattini, the Italian economist thanks to whom Marshall has been brought back to the collective memory of economists. Industrial district constitutes a model of production organised by local communities in order to produce goods to meet and steer market wants, in Italy and other countries, too. But this paper contends that without the work of Becattini in tracing the ideological foundations of Marshall’s economic thought, the industrial district would probably today be ignored.

Notes: Downloadable document is in Italian.

Keywords: Giacomo Becattini, industrial district, cluster, genesis and spread of economic ideas

JEL Classification: B31, L23, O18

Suggested Citation

Sforzi, Fabio, The Industrial District: From Marshall to Becattini (May 11, 2012). Il pensiero economico italiano, a. XVI, n. 2, 2008, pp. 71-80.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2056189

Fabio Sforzi (Contact Author)

University of Parma - Dipartimento di Economia ( email )

Via J.F. Kennedy 8
43100 - Parma
Italy

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