In the 1980s, some clusters of economic activities (Marshallian industrial districts) gained much publicity for their ability to maintain a high road of prosperity, innovation and growth in the face of globalizing pressure to take the low road of poor wages. Drawing on local relational assets (culture, local networks, local governance, such places were lauded as the post-Fordist future for Europe and North America. One place in particular was studied as exemplary: Prato in northeastern Italy (the so-called third Italy):
Piore M and Sabel C. (1986) The Second Industrial Divide: Possibilities for prosperity, New York: Basic Books.
Scott AJ. (1988) New Industrial Spaces: Flexible production organization and regional development in North America and Western Europe, London: Pion.
Signorini L. (1994) The price of Prato, or measuring the industrial district effect. Papers in Regional Science 73: 369-392.
Storper M. (1997) The Regional World: Territorial development in a global economy, New York: Guilford.
Today's Prato is very different:
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