Originally published in 1989, this book was the first comprehensive and analytical account of the Italian small firm economy to appear in English. Dealing principally with the area of central and north-east Italy where small business flourishes, the book relates to the concentration of such companies to the concept of ‘industrial districts’ developed by Alfred Marshall, and provides both a theoretical and statistical basis for Italy in the latter part of the twentieth century. The success of Italian manufacturing is explained in terms of political and social factors as well as economic and technical ones and the working practices within the technology companies discussed.
Introduction: The Political Economy of the Small Firm in Italy Edward Goodman 1. The Role of Small Firms in the Development of Italian Manufacturing Industry Marco Bellandi 2. Small Firms: Profile and Analysis, 1981-85 Guido Rey 3. A Model of the Small Firm in Italy Ash Amin 4. Sectors and/or Districts: Some Remarks on the Conceptual Foundations of Industrial Economics Giacomo Becattini 5. The Industrial District in Marshall Marco Bellandi 6. The Geography of Industrial Districts in Italy Fabio Sforzi 7. Small-firm Development and Political Subcultures in Italy Carlo Trigilia 8. Technical Change and the Industrial District: The Role of Inter-Firm Relations in the Growth and Transformation of Ceramic Tile Production in Italy Margherita Russo 9. The Small-Firm Economy’s Odd Man Out: The Case of Ravenna Mario Pezzini 10. Specialization Without Growth: Small Footwear Firms in Naples Ash Amin 11. A Policy for Industrial Districts Sebastiano Brusco