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Identification of the local productive systems in Spain: a new approach

By María Jesús Santa María Beneyto, José Miguel Giner Pérez and Antonio Fuster


Paper submitted to the 44th European Congress of the European Regional Science Association, Porto, 25-29 August 2004.In the last two decades there have been significant spatial changes influenced by the industrial re-organization processes. And the studies made about these changes have defined new forms of territorial distribution. One of these new forms appears because of territorial diffusion of the economic activity due to a flexible decentralization process and, simultaneously, the endogenous development in a geographical area. This industrial organization model has promoted the development of local geographic areas composed by a high number of small enterprises of the same industrial sector. These areas receive the denomination of local productive systems (LPS). However, these local areas can’t be identified with the administrative areas in which is divided a province or a region. In fact, a LPS can be defined as a certain number of towns, near geographically, with a high concentration of the same industrial activity, but not necessary located in the same municipality. The aim of this work is to identify and locate the LPS in the Spanish territory. So, the first phase will be to identify the industrial sectors which are highly concentrated in certain areas using the municipality which is the basic administrative unit in Spain. For that purpose it will be used indicators of the geographical concentration of the economic activity as the Gini index and the location coefficient. Also, the use of a spatial autocorrelation index will allow us to know if the location of a concrete economic activity in a municipality is influenced by the location of the same activity in other neighbouring municipalities. With this index it will be possible to identify the industrial sectors which are highly concentrated in one territorial area that could be different from the administrative division of the territory, being an agglomeration of municipalities with a high specialization in one industrial sector. In a second phase, the objective will be to establish the geographic areas with a high concentration level in one industrial sector. Next, we will try to delimitate the territorial boundaries in order to identify the LPS using the methodology developed by Frederic Lainé for the French case. In this methodology the characterization of the municipalities is based in four basic requirements for a concrete sector: number of establishments, employment, industrial density and specialization degree. The results, that is, the number of municipalities that fulfil these requirements, will be aggregated in order to search for the municipalities which are specialized in one industrial sector and are geographically nearby from other municipalities with the same industrial specialization. Finally, we will obtain a new spatial unit different from the administrative units traditionally used. These new units will represent a local production systems composed of several nearby municipalities specialized in the same industrial sector. In our opinion, this new spatial unit would represent better the idea of economic unit, more accurate than the administrative-political division

Topics: Local productive systems, Small and medium enterprises, Territorial concentration, Industrial districts, Spain, Economía Aplicada
Year: 2004
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