Informations and abstract
Keywords: Industry 4.0, Industrial Districts, Innovation Policy
The industrial districts represent the past and the future of the Italian production landscape. Indeed they are, nowadays, one of the few examples of economic dynamism in the extra-urban areas. In recent years, these socio-economic agglomerations are facing great challenges: international competition, the financial crisis, the servitisation of the manufacturing industry. However, it is the technological change of the fourth industrial revolution that represents the greatest challenge, and at the same time the greatest opportunity, for industrial districts. It is of particular interest to observe how these places are facing this technological revolution. Above all, it is critical to understand if they are taking advantage of national industrial and innovation policies. This article considers the first year of implementation of the «Impresa 4.0», which is the main Italian industrial policy dedicated to firms’s technological upgrade. Through the construction of an original dataset and a counterfactual analysis, we assessed and confirmed the ability of the industrial districts’s firms to adhere to the incentives offered by the plan. Moreover, we demonstrate that the collocation of a firm in an industrial district can explain its propensity to take part to the industrial policy.