Chapter 1: Theories of agglomeration and regional economic growth: a historical review
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Theoretically, economic geography, new economic geography (NEG) and urban economics share much common ground. Several criticisms of the monopolistic modelling logic of NEG have come from economic geography schools of thought as well as from orthodox and heterodox schools of economics. These critiques focus variously on the immeasurability of notions of increasing returns, the static nature of assumptions, the specific focus on the representative firm, the presence only of pecuniary economies and the absence of either human capital or technological spillovers as externalities. However, advocates of the new economic approaches argue that their analyses provide insights into spatial economic phenomena which were previously unattainable under the existing analytical frameworks. In this chapter we reflect on these developments, putting equal weight on both conceptualisations, set off against a historical review of agglomeration and regional economic growth theories.