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Persistence versus change in the international specialization pattern of Italy: how much does the 'district effect' matter?

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Rabellotti, Roberta; Amighini, Alessia; Leone, Marinella

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Abstract This paper investigates the evolution of specialization patterns for the Italian provinces over the period 1995-2005 by analysing the dynamics of the sectoral distribution in the Balassa index of revealed comparative advantages. The results show that underlying a relatively stable distribution of national comparative advantages over time, there are wide variations in local performance: only a few provinces demonstrate any stability in their specialization over the last decade, with the majority showing decreased specialization. We find a higher average degree of persistence for provinces with districts, but no systematic differences between provinces with or without industrial districts. District provinces show wide variation, with a few concentrating on their past comparative strengths, but many diversifying.
Classification Political Economy; Area Development Planning, Regional Research
Free Keywords intra-regional differentiation; export specialization dynamics; industrial districts; Italy
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
Page/Pages p. 381-401
Journal Regional Studies, 45 (2010) 3
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)