Abstract: The Expansion of Spanish Footwear Exports: The Role of the Industrial Districts

José Antonio Miranda


At the start of the 1970s Spain was the second-largest exporter of leather footwear in the world. This was the result of a remarkable renovation of the industry that created high growth, as only the previous decade the sector had been in an extremely backward state, and production levels had been extremely low. The aim of this paper is to show how the Spanish footwear industry managed to transform itself, in only a few short years, from an obsolete industry that was of little importance to the national economy into one of the most important global exporters in the sector and one of the country's most important industries in terms of currency contribution. The paper will focus on how several existing industrial districts that specialized in footwear production, located in Alicante province, in southeastern Spain, played a crucial role in that successful evolution.