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Economic Geography

Economic Geography

Economic geography is the study of the location, distribution and spatial organization of economic activities across the world. The subject matter investigated is strongly influenced by the researcher’s methodological approach. Neoclassical location theorists, following in the tradition of Alfred Weber, 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.
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Economic geography is usually regarded as a subfield of the discipline of geography, although recently economists such as Paul Krugman and Jeffrey Sachs have pursued interests that can be considered part of economic geography.[1] 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”.[2] The name geographical economics has been suggested as an alternative.[3]

Given the variety of approaches, economic geography has taken to many different subject matters, including: the location of industries, economies of agglomeration (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 exhaustive.

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