The Transition to a Formal Rule-Based Economy in Corsica: The Example of Technology Development Networks

Special Report: Economic Coordination
By André Torre

This paper examines the conditions of transition from an economic system based on local know-how to one based on formal rules, in the context of a peripheral, economically less developed French region: Corsica. The first part of the paper describes the region and its spontaneous and institutional networks. The second part deals with “technological development networks,” a key element of local development policies which aim, inter alia, at transforming local know-how into productive resources through the implementation of organisational and formal rule systems among local firms. The third and final part speculates on the difficulties of the process, which leads to results that are sometimes very far from what was initially expected. These difficulties are related to both general considerations (the importance of organizational proximity, the weight of local history) as well as specific features (the particularities of peripheral economies).

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