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Deterministic and Contingent Factors in the Genesis of Agribusiness Clusters: The Pigmeat Industry in Nineteenth-Century Catalonia

Pere Castell () and Ramon Ramon-Muñoz ()
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Pere Castell: Elisava, Facultat de Disseny i Enginyeria de la Universitat de Vic–Universitat Central de Catalunya (UVic-UCC), La Rambla 30-32, 08002 Barcelona, Spain

Land, 2022, vol. 11, issue 3, 1-24

Abstract: This paper deals with the location, origins, and early development of clusters and industrial districts in the agribusiness sector. It considers the case of the meat processing industry in the second half of the 19th century in Catalonia, a prosperous southern-European region in the period when this industry emerged. By constructing an index of potential locations at the municipal level, the paper discusses whether, and to what extent, deterministic factors explain the genesis of pigmeat processing clusters. The paper concludes that although these latter factors need primary consideration, contingency, particularly human agency, may also play a non-negligible role. As an illustration, this study pays particular attention to the cluster of Vic, which developed around this middle-sized town in central Catalonia. It became a leading meat cluster in early 20th-century Spain, even though it was not better suited to this industry than other Catalan localities where meat companies had also emerged.

Keywords: cluster; industrial district; meat industry; life cycle; window of locational opportunity; human agency (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q15 Q2 Q24 Q28 Q5 R14 R52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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