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Title: Behind the emergence of clusters: spinoffs and social ties. The case of an Italian industrial district

Authors: Christian Garavaglia

Addresses: Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS), University of Milano-Bicocca, Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo 1, 20126, Milan, Italy; The Invernizzi Center for Research on Innovation, Organization, Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Bocconi University, Via Roentgen 1, 20136, Milan, Italy

Abstract: The traditional economic literature explains the process of geographic agglomeration of firms with regard to the existence of external economies or agglomeration economies. The purpose of this paper is to investigate an alternative view, following some more recent influential studies about spinoffs and the emergence of clusters (Boschma, 2015). We discuss how the joint processes of spinoffs, knowledge inheritance and social ties may shape the emergence of firms in a cluster without referring to the existence of external economies. This paper presents the case of the industrial swimwear district in Oleggio, Italy and provides evidence that the formation of spinoffs and social ties contributed to the emergence of the district.

Keywords: cluster; industrial district; spinoff; social ties; knowledge inheritance; external economies; regional development; swimwear.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIRD.2018.090495

International Journal of Innovation and Regional Development, 2018 Vol.8 No.1, pp.23 - 43

Received: 05 Aug 2016
Accepted: 08 Apr 2017

Published online: 08 Mar 2018 *

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