Using Local Labour Systems (LLSs) data, we assess the effect of the local productive structure on employment growth in Italy during the period 1981-2008. Italy represents an interesting case study because of the high degree of spatial heterogeneity in local labour market performances and of the presence of strongly specialized LLSs (industrial districts). Building on a semiparametric geoadditive model, our empirical investigation allows us to identify important nonlinearities in the relationship between local industry structure and local employment growth, to assess the relative performance of industrial districts and to control for unobserved spatial heterogeneity.
Keywords: Industrial districts; employment dynamics; semiparametric geoadditive models
Jel Code: R11, R12, C14