ECONOMICS OF INDUSTRIAL DISTRICT
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Industrial districts (IDs) are probably one the most important socio-economic phenomena of recent decades. In an increasingly globalized world, the presence of IDs suggests that places matter. Much competitive advantage lies outside the firm – especially if the firm is small or medium-sized – or even outside its industry, and lies instead in the place where the community of people and the population of firms are interwoven, specializing in different stages of the same production process. The course provides students with the current state of the art knowledge about IDs and their role in international competition. Students are expected to gain knowledge of the ID concept to explain why it offers a new way of considering small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to learn how the socio-economic changes take place in an ID and to understand the importance of the ID in promoting internationalization of SMEs. This will equip students to work in public and private institutions involved in designing and implementing district-based economic policies.
Course contents summary
(1) The ID as a way of conceptualizing economic processes; (2) The ID as a model of production; (3) The ID in practice: The experiences of IDs in Italy and other industrialized countries; (4) The experiences of IDs in emerging and developing countries; (5) The internationalization of IDs.
- Industrial Districts. A new Approach to Industrial Change, G. Becattini, Cheltenham (UK): Edward Elgar, 2004 (Selected chapters).
- A Handbook of Industrial Districts, ed. G. Becattini, M. Bellandi, and L. De Propris, Cheltenham, (UK): Edward Elgar, 2009 (Selected chapters).
Lectures, workshops and seminars.
Assessment methods and criteria
Written exam. Assessment is by way of a written submission. Each student is required to submit a critical essay of approximately 3,000 words. The reference list must include selected chapters of the textbook and a paper on a linked topic, typically relating to a case study. The title and works to be consulted will be agreed between teacher and student.