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Knowledge networks and innovative performance in an industrial district. The case of a footwear district in the South of Italy

Ron Boschma () and Anne L.J. Wal ()

No 601, Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) from Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography

Abstract: The traditional district literature tends to assume that: (1) the competitiveness of firms depends on external sources of knowledge; (2) all firms in a district benefit from knowledge externalities; (3) relying on external knowledge relationships necessarily means these are confined to the district area. Our case study of the Barletta footwear district in the South of Italy suggests otherwise. Based on social network analysis, we demonstrate that the local knowledge network is quite weak and unevenly distributed among the local firms. A strong local network position of a firm tended to increase their innovative performance, and so did their connectivity to extra-local firms. So, it mattered being connected either locally or non-locally: being co-located was surely not enough. Having a high absorptive capacity seemed to raise only indirectly, through non-local relationships, the innovative performance of firms.

Keywords: evolutionary economics; new economic geography; social networks; innovative performance; Italy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 23 pages
Date: 2006-01, Revised 2006-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cse, nep-ent, nep-geo, nep-ino, nep-net, nep-soc and nep-ure
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (7)

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http://econ.geo.uu.nl/peeg/peeg0601.pdf Version January 2006 (application/pdf)

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Journal Article: Knowledge Networks and Innovative Performance in an Industrial District: The Case of a Footwear District in the South of Italy (2007) Downloads
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