Informations and abstract
Keywords: Stone Machinery Sector, Industry Structure, Industrial District, Small Firm, Local Development.
This paper deals with the descriptive analysis of the Italian stone machinery industry, and its geographical distribution within the stone industrial districts, where local demand comes from the machinery users. In Italy, the entire stone filière has a positive trade balance, as the machinery producers and the machinery users (stone processing industry) have a strong competitive advantage at international level due to the gains from technology spillovers and external economies in the stone industrial districts (such as Carrara, Verona, Tivoli, Brescia, etc.). The data about company balance sheets and international trade show the resilience of the machinery industry to the 2008 crisis, thanks to the niche specialization strategy and the exploitation of the increasing demand in the emerging markets. This evolution creates a sort of «decoupling process» of the two main parts of the stone filière, the machinery producers and the machinery users, and will change the traditional characteristics of stone industrial districts.