Industrial Resilience and its Antecedents

Although there is no consensus on the concept of economic resilience, this phenomenon is pivotal to sustainable growth in the More Economically Developed Countries (MEDCs). There are two different definitions of economic resilience that are based on an economic geography perspective. First, that economic resilience refers to the ability of a geographical unit – typically a region, but also could be a city – to accommodate shocks. Second, economic resilience is the ability to reconfigure the socio-economic and institutional structures in order to establish and develop new growth paths. The papers in this area try to address different aspects related to the factors affecting resilience.

Public and private goods and the transformation of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

Shared public goods have fostered the cognitive capabilities and advanced the technology trajectories of SMEs in the North American automotive supply chain. In this context, public goods include education instructions, the public research infrastructure and industry consortia, all of which act as intermediaries. Our research will include the topics of technology and knowledge transfer among SMEs and the resilience of traditional industrial regions.

Urban scaling and the transformation of urban economies

Several authors have described the formation and persistence of cities as properties arising from the dynamic evolution of complex adaptive systems. It is suggested that a power-law distribution describes the relationship among the size of many cities or metropolitan areas around the world and many other key macroscopic variables such as GDP, total employment and knowledge production. This suggests that scale-free laws govern the agglomeration dynamics. We will investigate the development of the biggest OECD Functional Urban Areas and estimate their non-linear agglomeration and scaling effects by comparing their dimensions (population size) with other relevant variables e.g. urbanized area; number of patents granted; GDP and total employment; pollution; crime rate; immigrant population size and education level.

Pattern of regional specialization into high and medium tech industries

The economic understanding of resilience is affected by a theoretical bias: normally the economic system is in equilibrium and tends to achieve an equilibrium following a shock (see Friedman's V-shaped symmetric model). However, this model produces diverging effects if two regions are impacted by a common shock. The research aims to evaluate the future for Italian manufacturing by measuring the resilience of its traditional industrial macro-areas, North-West and North-East, the former based on the Milan-Turin axis and the latter based on the industrial district model. The intention is to isolate these regional development patterns and identify the specialization and transformation mechanism in specific high and medium tech sectors in the selected regions.