is the study of the location,
distribution and spatial organization of economic activities across
. The subject matter investigated is
strongly influenced by the researcher's methodological approach.
Neoclassical location theorists
following in the tradition of Alfred
, tend to focus on industrial location and use
quantitative methods. Since the 1970s, two broad reactions against
neoclassical approaches have significantly changed the discipline:
Marxist political economy, growing out of the work of David Harvey
; and the new economic geography
which takes into account social, cultural, and institutional
factors in the spatial economy.
Economic geography is usually regarded as a subfield of the
discipline of geography
, although recently
economists such as Paul Krugman
have pursued interests
that can be considered part of economic geography. Krugman has gone
so far as to call his application of spatial thinking to
international trade theory the "new economic geography", which
directly competes with an approach within the discipline of
geography that is also called "new economic geography". The name
been suggested as an alternative.
Given the variety of approaches, economic geography has taken to
many different subject matters, including: the location of
industries, economies of
(also known as "linkages"), transportation,
international trade and development, real estate, gentrification,
ethnic economies, gendered economies, core-periphery
theory, the economics of urban
form, the relationship between the environment and the economy
(tying into a long history of geographers studying
culture-environment interaction), and globalization
. This list is by no means
Areas of Study
- Theoretical economic Geography focuses on building
theories about spatial arrangement and distribution of economic
- Regional economic
geography examines the economic conditions of particular
regions or countries of the world. It deals with economic regionalisation as well.
- Critical economic
geography is approach from the point of view of contemporary
critical geography and its
- Behavioral economic
geography examines the cognitive processes underlying spatial
reasoning, locational decision making, and behavior of firms and
Thematically economic geography can be divided into these sub
- 'Geography of Agriculture'
- 'Geography of Industry'
- 'Geography of International Trade'
- 'Geography of Resources'
- 'Geography of Transport and Communication'
- and others
However, their areas of study may overlap with another geographical sciences
or may be considered on
History of economic geography
In the history of economic geography there were many influences
coming mainly from economics
and geographical sciences
First traces of the study of spatial aspects of economic activities
on Earth can be found in Strabo
written almost 2000 years ago. This has
recently been challenged, however, by seven Chinese maps
State of Qin
dating to the 4th century
During the period known in geography as environmental determinism
(though later much criticized) influence came from Ellsworth Huntington
and his theory of
Valuable contributions came from location theorists such as
Johann Heinrich von
or Alfred Weber
influential theories were Walter
's Central place
, the theory of core and periphery.
Fred K. Schaefer
's article Exceptionalism in
geography: A Methodological Examination
published in American
journal Annals (Association of American Geographers) and his
critique of regionalism had a big impact on economic geography. The
article became a rallying point for the younger generation of
economic geographers who were intent on reinventing the discipline
as a science. Quantitative methods became prevailing in research.
Well-known economic geographers of this period are William Garrison
, Brian Berry
, Peter Haggett
, William Bunge
Contemporary economic geographers tend to specialize in areas such
as location theory
and spatial analysis
(with the help of geographic information
), market research, geography of transportation, land or
real estate price evaluation, regional and global development,
planning, Internet geography, innovation, social networks and
Economists and Economic Geographers
Economists and economic geographers differ in their methods in
approaching similar economic problems in several ways. To
generalize, an economic geographer will take a more holistic
approach in the analysis of economic phenomena, which is to
conceptualize a problem in terms of space, place and scale as well
as the overt economic problem that is being examined. The economist
approach, according to economic geographers, has four main
drawbacks or manifestations of “economic orthodoxy that tends to
homogenize the economic world in way that economic geographers try
to avoid (Coe et al
. p.10)” The first is universalism,
which means that economists think that one set of financial
remedies will work in every situation without taking factors such
as space, place and scale into consideration. The second is
economic rationality; that is, thinking the most probable cause of
a problem is in fact the source of the problem. The third is
economists assuming that capitalism (or competition and
equilibrium) is the best economic approach for any economic problem
or economic phenomena that may be analyzed. The fourth is that
economists think in terms of processes based on certain laws and
principles in the field of economics (Coe et al
. p.11). An
economic geographer, in contrast, will use his or her expertise in
many fields to determine the underlying causes of an economic
- Schoenberger, E. (2001): Corporate autobiographies: the
narrative strategies of corporate strategists. Journal of
Economic Geography 1, 277-98.
4. Yeung, Henry Wai-Chung, Neil M. Coe, and Philip F. Kelly.
Economic Geography : A Contemporary Introduction. Grand Rapids:
Blackwell Limited, 2007.
- Lloyd, P. E. -
Dicken, P. (1977):
Location in space - A Theoretical Approach to Economic
Geography, Second Edition. Harper & Row Ltd, London.
D. (1984): Spatial Divisions of Labour, Social
Structures and the Structure of Production, MacMillan,
- Lee, R. - Wills, J. (1997):
Geographies of Economies, Arnold, London.
- Dicken, P. (2003): Global Shift: Reshaping
the Global Economic Map in the 21st Century, Fourth Edition.
The Guilford Press.
- Scott, A.
Geography and Economy. Oxford University Press.
Geography - founded and published quarterly at Clark
Journal of Economic Geography
- published by
Oxford University Press
Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsgeographie
German Journal of
published since 1956.
Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale
- Published by The Royal Dutch Geographical
(KNAG) since 1948.