The global economic crisis that hit in 2008-2009 has had a negative impact on the performance of a large number of firms based in the Italian industrial districts. The recovery expected in 2010 is unlikely to be sufficient to quickly absorb the economic downturns of 2009. Accordingly, a tough selection process is set to take place that will threaten financially fragile firms with closure, despite their know-how. The risk of irreparably losing business expertise across the Italian industrial districts could be averted by the consolidation of small businesses through mergers and acquisitions. Much will also depend on the production location decisions of leader firms. The future of the districts also depends on enhancing the commercial side to enable Italian firms to increase their footprint in fast-growth markets that are also complex and remote.
Keywords: Industrial district, insourcing, firm size, international trade
Jel Code: R12, F10, F20, L11