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Abstract

The Italian Industrial Districts (IDs) are considered to be one of the main reasons for the rapid industrial development and success of Italy since the Second World War. The SME's have also played an important role in this. In this paper we outline the general characteristics of the ID approach and the main structural changes in the new millennium, due to them facing the process of globalization. The distinctive figures of the agrifood districts and their mosaic style of development are than analysed to highlight the similarities and differences between them and the other IDs. First show that they are more relevant and that their geographical distribution is more important than those of other recently analysed Italian ID's. The different zones of origin of agrifood districts and their specialized production is often related to typical or high‐quality products, with a strong connection to territorial traditions and manufacturing skills. These characteristics make agrifood districts different in some ways from other ID's where the declining “district effect” has been noted due to the general difficulties of Italian manufacturing industries. We will analysis these general structural changes focusing on the districts of the meat industry.

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