Local Economic Governance in Hard Times: The shadow economy and the textile and clothing industries around Lódz and Naples
Title: Local Economic Governance in Hard Times: The shadow economy and the textile and clothing industries around Lódz and Naples
Citation: Socio-Economic Review, 2008, 6, 3, 473-492
Areas of industrial decline, with poor quality local government and poor infrastructure, frequently find a kind of economic success through the shadow economy. But illegality imposes constraints on the kind of success that can be achieved. The study of such areas in central Poland and southern Italy reveals considerable similarities, despite the fact that the former was part of the former state socialist bloc, the latter not. In both regions, small and medium-sized textile and clothing firms were flourishing within the limits of the shadow economy following the collapse of large corporations in the area. There were, however, important differences. Italian public policy has provided some possible routes out of the shadow economy, and its distinctive governance, which has been taken advantage of to a limited extent by firms, while Polish policy continues to deny that the problem exists. Also, because of the presence of leading clothing brands elsewhere in Italy, southern Italian firms have access to routes for upgrading their activities that are largely unavailable to their Polish counterparts.
This papers derives from the project 'Citizens and Governance in the Knowledge-based Society', forming part of the New Modes of Governance (NewGov) Integrated Project under the European Commission’s Framework Six Programme, co-ordinated by the European University Institute, Florence, and its Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies. In 2005 ca. 70 face-to-face interviews were conducted with local entrepreneurs; representatives of local authorities; representatives of the Municipality of the two case studies; representatives of regional authorities; researchers from the University; experts from regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The interviews were semistructured, with an interview guide based on an inventory of issues. However, the discursive nature of interviews was preserved, which allowed the interviewees to raise additional issues. Secondary sources were also extensively used in the research, using local newspaper, documents, research reports, as well as documents from local public and private institutions, such as the local government or employers associations, and a secondary analysis of quantitative data was carried out.
Type of Access: openAccess
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- Crouch et al, 2008, Pre-print ...