Industrial Complexes Revisited

26 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2008

See all articles by Victor Prochnik

Victor Prochnik

Institute of Economics, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Date Written: 1999


This article presents some of the results of a research program on industrial dynamics and sectoral interdependence, developed at the Economics Department of the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (IE/UFRJ) in the 1980s.

The research builds on the French concept of Filière to put forth an empirical methodology as well as a theoretical framework to analyse industrial clusters. The article describes this methodology, presents the industrial complexes and discusses the alternative theoretical definitions.

In the Brazilian research, five major complexes - called macro-complexes hereafter - were singled out: civil construction, machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, textiles and agroindustry. (In addition to these, the paper and printing complex was spotted, since it does not belong to any of the others). In turn, in each of the five macro-complexes mentioned above several micro-complexes were also selected.

The industrial complexes analysis was used to study many problems of inter-industrial economics. Technology flows and the diffusion of innovations, the process of industrial diversification, the area of influence of large enterprises, international commerce (an export operation can be viewed as a tie between the productive chain of the exporter country and the productive chain of the importer chain) and industrial and technological policy are some examples. It is also worth mentioning that Brazilian industrial policy has been influenced by the line of research on industrial complexes.

Keywords: clusters, complexes, chains, interdependence

JEL Classification: L16, L52, L60, O14, O21, O33, 41

Suggested Citation

Prochnik, Victor, Industrial Complexes Revisited (1999). Available at SSRN: or

Victor Prochnik (Contact Author)

Institute of Economics, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro ( email )

Av; Pasteur, 250
terreo - Bairro Maracana
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 23890000
+5521 38735248 (Phone)
+5521 25429641 (Fax)


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