Journal Article


Persistence versus Change in the International Specialisation Pattern of Italy: How Much Does the ‘District Effect’ Matter?

Published on 1 January 2011

This paper investigates the evolution of specialisation 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 specialisation over the last decade, with the majority showing decreased specialisation.

A higher average degree of persistence for provinces with districts is found, 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.


Image of Marinella Leone

Marinella Leone

Research Fellow

Publication details

Amighinia, A., Leone, M., and Rabellottia, R.
Regional Studies, volume 45, issue 3


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