1999MAURIZIO MISTRI E STEFANO SOLARI
Local self-organising economic processes: industrial districts and liquidity preference, 34p.
The industrial district is considered here as a complex organisational form, and will be analysed as an element of the class of space-sectorial self-organising economic phenomena. Districts are characterised by high growth rates of per capita income in conditions of scarce capital and a diffused property of productive assets which make it a very interesting model of development. The concept of self-organisation is not used here to build abstract models, but rather to describe and theorise on empirical evidence concerning Italian industrial districts. The concept of the Marshallian industrial district as proposed by Giacomo Becattini and the Italian districtualist school is considered first. Second, we will highlight the concept of self-organisation and its relevance to the study of the district. Then, we will analyse the factors influencing relative competitiveness of a district's organisational form, underlining the evolutionary forces which contribute to creating the district. Fourth, the forces which allow the district form to be kept stable - in a well-defined domain - are examined, with particular attention being paid to forces which dominate the behaviour of small entrepreneurs in the long run. In this regard, we assume that while there is strategic behaviour of big enterprises -understood as a self-referential entity - the behaviour of small businesses is characterised by the strategic behaviour of the small entrepreneur, since it is not possible to separate the destiny of the firm from the personality of the entrepreneur, who reproduces and depends on the district's institutions at the same time. Finally we will draw a stylised model of a district in order to analyse the factors which endanger this fragile organisational form. The aim of the model is to demonstrate how an industrial district is an organisational form which is simultaneously the product, and producer, of a local reduction in economic uncertainty given by a stable economic pattern formation, and how it can evolve toward some discrete forms.