Abstract This article observes that the conceptual bases for regional industrial policies has been undergoing substantial changes. A distinction is made between several generations of policies. The ‘first generation’ of regional policies was based on the importance of exogenous growth factors. The ‘second generation’ of policies focussed on local endogenous factors. The theoretical base supporting these policies received strong impulses since the mid-80s from new insights derived from flexible specialization and industrial districts literature. A new and ‘third generation’ of policies is emerging that goes beyond endogenous growth, and seeks to superceed the division between exogenous and endogenously oriented policies. The analysis of growth and competitiveness has moved from the firm itself, and clusters of firms and to incorporate basic and institutional conditions fostering growth. This article provides an overview of contributions to the theory of regional industrial development underlying second and third generations of regional policies. A distinction is made between macro-regional theories and those that have an industrial organization focus. The review includes a selected number of case studies drawn from Europe and Latin America.

Regional industrial development, case studies, flexible specialization, generations of regional policy, industrial districts, networks
EURE: Revista Latinoamericana de Estudios Urbano Regionales
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Helmsing, A.H.J. (2003). Teorías de desarrollo industrial regional y políticas de segunda y tercera generación. EURE: Revista Latinoamericana de Estudios Urbano Regionales, 25(75), 5–39. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/31375