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Title: The Fourth Italy? : the urban economic geography of contemporary innovation and entrepreneurship : a case study of Rome
Author: Fiorentino, Stefania
ISNI:       0000 0004 7660 8717
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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This study posits the emergence of a Fourth Italy, a new urban geography of innovation, which updates the historical tri-partition proposed by Bagnasco (1977). The effects of globalization and new communication technologies have imposed a number of changes in the economic dynamics and labour market of the country. This, in turn, has caused the decline of the 'Third Italy' and its industrial district model and the revival of cities as attractors of innovative businesses. This research considers the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Rome and provides an overview of the new actors and intermediaries of this new geographical model: makers, shared service accommodations and start-ups. The entrepreneurial orientation of this new urban economy resembles the starting point of a new Schumpeterian business cycle. A foundational theoretical framework is offered by cognitive-cultural capitalism, embodying culture, creativity, digital technologies and innovation. The objective of the study is to provide empirical evidence of this distribution proposing an incremental contribution to agglomeration theory. A case study design with a qualitative data collection has been used to identify, map and describe the key actors, firms and features of this new entrepreneurial ecosystem as well as the role played by institutions in its genesis. Old and new locations for innovation are compared, namely Third and Fourth Italies. Findings suggest that this urban revival is restricted to small businesses in their start-up phase, when trust relations and local embeddedness are still crucial to their establishment, and that the extensive institutional involvement ultimately disguises a lagging socio-economic context. Knowledge of the Fourth Italy paves the way for future policymaking and research on the new phenomenon of agglomeration.
Supervisor: Phelps, N. ; Tomaney, J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available