Localization of small informal industrial clusters: a comparative analysis of Bengal hosiery and bag producing industry

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Author: 
Sri SukantaSaha
Abstract: 

The present study is an effort to explore how the localization of small informal industrialclusters is appearing in West Bengal. To analyze why and how economic organization of such localized industrial clusters in small towns is contributingto informalization of previously formalized regional economies, the analysis framed within location economics literature with inclusion of spatial dispersion and coherence of such informal industrial activities within any region.The study is confined to depict a comparison between two distinct informal industries in West Bengal – the already-established quasi-stagnant hosiery industry and the uprising bag producing industry. The study is concentrated agglomeration of informal production units of the two industries in a specific spatial cluster in West Bengal, namely the Belgharia region. The site has been selected not on the basis of its size or its significant position to the industrial map in West Bengal but due to its specificity to fulfill the basic objective of our study incorporating the co-existing of the two industries within the frame of the study. This is why the study is not confined to focus on the concentration of other important informal industrial spatial clusters in West Bengal as my earlier studies convey. Rather, the present study is confined to detect an unexplored site of informal industrial economy in West Bengal to show how a small spatial cluster of informal enterprises is becoming able to influence output, employment and growth of the entire regional economy through concentration, expansion and growth of the two informal industries. The uneven distribution of concentrated informal production units across space and time is incorporated in the study in references to micro-level field studies conducted on the basis of purposive sampling. The consideration is strongly based upon the classical and new economic geography literature support derived from Location Economicsand Regional Economics.

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