Economic Geography

Jessie P.H. Poon

in Geography

ISBN: 9780199874002
Published online February 2013 | | DOI:
Economic Geography

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  • Human Geography



Economic geography is a major field and specialization within human geography. It has undergone several theoretical “turns” since the 1960s, and this has influenced methodological approaches as well. For example, economic geography in the 1960s and 1970s was focused on the scientific analysis of location. This involves using analytical models and high levels of mathematical abstraction. By the 1980s, major theoretical renewal in the subfield was led by a group of California geographers who began to explore post-Fordist industrial spaces away from more Fordist (Henry Ford’s popularization of mass production techniques) themes that had characterized industrial geography in the 1970s. Since then, economic geographers have attempted to reassemble the “economy” in terms of social, cultural, and institutional dimensions as well. Explaining economic activities in time and space assumes a multiscalar perspective because economic space is found to be constituted at various scales from the local and regional to the global or some combination of these. Globalization has led to a generation of work on the international activities of firms, their interactions and trade with one another and regions, and their production spaces. Another important development has been the rediscovery of geography among economists and business academics. Although economists have long been interested in the spatial analysis of economic activities in the field of regional science, the new economic geographers distinguish themselves through a set of analytical frameworks enabling them to model increasing returns to scale, agglomeration forces, and imperfect competition. Similarly, business academics have begun to study the spatial clustering of firms in regional economies and the locational drivers of multinational firms.

Article.  9079 words. 

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography ; Human Geography

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