The aim of the paper is to verify whether or not, in consequence of the 1889 economic shock, Turin was characterised by a radical restructuration of the existing economic backbone. In line with some recent theoretical contribution on the cluster life cycle, the evolution of the city's economy –framed as a Complex Adaptive System– is supposed to be driven by its capabilities diversity dynamic, and the fictional expectations of the entrepreneurs are seen as the engine that guide this last process of change in both directions. The analysis confirm that the 1890s downturn increased the maneuvering space available to the entrepreneurs for a reorganisation of the sectoral structure of the city, from a textile-based to a mechanics-centric economy
Economists and Geographers have been debating long since about the role of the regional economies diversification on their economic performance. In this paper, firstly the measures mainly proposed in the literature –Variety, Coherence, Economic Complexity, and Fitness– are presented. After having framed them within a more systematic taxonomy about the different aspects of regional diversification, each is critically reviewed, and its main limitations highlighted. Lastly, some solutions to overcome these drawbacks are proposed.
Stimulated by the differentials among European regions in terms of their reaction capacity against the effect of the recent Great Recession, the debate on whether regional growth were better influenced by specialisation or diversification is back in fashion. The debate has shown that further qualifications of the diversification structure are needed to understand these differentials. And a more thorough taxonomy of the different aspects of this concept highlights some new insights on the effect that the regional technological diversity has in terms of the resilience of these economic systems.
In recent years, the popularity of the urban scaling theory has grown, encouraged by an increasing interest among scholars as well as policy makers in the determinants of the urbanisation dynamic and metropolitan cities expansion. In particular, it has been observed that power law distributions describe the relationship among the size of many metropolitan areas around the world and many other key macroscopic variables. In the paper, we estimate the nonlinear agglomeration and scaling effects for the metropolitan areas of five big European countries, with respect to GDP, urbanised area size, employment levels, and number of patent applications. In particular, a model suitable for partially-integrated urban systems, like to EU, is proposed. Facing many theoretical issues linked to the empirical investigation of the urban scaling effects, the paper is so a step forward in the knowledge about urban spaces that are nowadays at the core of many policy actions and programs.
This chapter is developed together with C. Nava (University of Aosta Valley)
The introduction of advanced digital technologies in the production process, as well as in consumption goods, is nowadays seen as a powerful opportunity for boost economic growth in advanced economies. Focusing on the Italian case, the development of a digital manufacturing industry might let the nation to exploit some of its strengths: mechanics, machineries and robotics. On the other hand, it has been observed a shortage of competences in Computing Technology and Artificial Intelligence that will create a bottlenecks in the evolutionary process towards a more advanced digital manufacturing pattern. A first stage of the project will be to map the inter-industrial mobility of the Italian labor market, and compare it with the previously studied cases: Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands. A step forward will be to exploit the temporal dimension of the available data to clarify better the causal mechanisms in the development process of the Italian industry space, in order to understand the potentials and limitations for the evolution of a national digital manufacturing industry.
This chapter is developed together with M. Guerzoni (University of Turin)