Developments in Major Fields of Economics
Edited by Gilbert Faccarello and Heinz D. Kurz
Chapter 11: Economic geography
Ever since the emergence of civilization, human activities and standards of living have been unevenly distributed among both the continents and their territories. Economic life is concentrated in a fairly limited number of human settlements (cities and clusters), which are gathered under the heading of “economic agglomerations”. Furthermore, there are large and small agglomerations with very different combinations of firms and households. Economic geography – or geographical economics – aims to explain why economic activities choose to establish themselves in some particular places, with the result that some places fare better than others. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a bird’s-eye overview of the main contributions made by economists and regional scientists in understanding how the spaceeconomy is organized. There is a wide agreement that the space-economy may be viewed as the outcome of a trade-off between different types of scale economies in production and the mobility costs of goods, people and information. Although it has been rediscovered many times (including in recent periods), this trade-off is at the heart of economic geography ever since the work of Lösch (1940). It implies that the location of economic activities is the result of a complicated balance of forces that push and pull consumers and firms in opposing directions.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.