Regional Studies 45 (3), 381–401
The paper is in collaboration with Alessia Amighini and Marinella Leone.
It investigates the evolution of specialization patterns for the Italian provinces over the period 1995-2005 by analysing the dynamics of the sectoral distribution in the Balassa index of revealed comparative advantages. The results show that underlying a relatively stable distribution of national comparative advantages over time, there are wide variations in local performance: only a few provinces demonstrate any stability in their specialization over the last decade, with the majority showing decreased specialization. We find a higher average degree of persistence for provinces with districts, but no systematic differences between provinces with or without industrial districts. District provinces show wide variation, with a few concentrating on their past comparative strengths, but many diversifying.