An Introduction to Geographical Economics: Trade, Location and Growth

An Introduction to Geographical Economics: Trade, Location and Growth

An Introduction to Geographical Economics: Trade, Location and Growth

An Introduction to Geographical Economics: Trade, Location and Growth

Synopsis

The need for better understanding of the role location plays in economic life was first and most famously made explicit by Bertil Ohlin in 1933. However it is only recently, with the development of computer packages able to handle complex systems, as well as advances in economic theory, that Ohlin's vision has been met and a framework developed which explains the distribution of economic activity across space. This book is an integrated, non-mathematical, first-principles textbook presenting Geographical Economics to advanced students. Its emphasis is on examples, diagrams, and empirical evidence, making it the ideal starting point prior to monographic and journal material.

Excerpt

This book offers an introduction to an important new field in economics, entitled Geographical Economics, which sets out to explain the distribution of economic activity across space. In doing so, it tries to bring together and apply insights from various fields of economics. The book will therefore be of interest to students and scholars of international economics and business, as well as of economic geography, regional economics, and urban economics. The fact that we offer an “introduction” does not mean that we avoid models or shy away from difficult concepts. It indicates that we have made an effort to write a book that is accessible to readers and students who are new to the field of geographical economics.

Although we introduce and discuss various modeling approaches, we keep required technicalities to a minimum. Whenever possible we draw attention to important concepts and applications in special interest boxes, making ample use of examples and diagrams to explain the workings of the models. Chapter 3, which explains the structure of the core model of geographical economics, gives background derivations in six technical notes. Throughout the book the level of mathematical competence required does not rise above simple optimization techniques that should be familiar to upper-level undergraduate and graduate students, both in economics and in other fields of social science. The target audience of our book is not limited to these students, but includes professionals working at government agencies, banks, international organizations, and private research firms, as well as students and scholars of international business and economic geography. The latter category may find the book of interest, if only to get to know what they disagree with when it comes to the analysis of the location of economic activity!

To help the reader in developing his or her intuition for different aspects important in determining the interaction between location decisions and economic performance, and to get a better feel for the modeling structure and empirical relevance of geographical economics, we include discussions of many real-world examples, and present and evaluate the currently available empirical evidence. In addition, we explain in detail an important but often neglected aspect of the geographical economics approach: computer simulations. We discuss their advantages and disadvantages, show what is needed to perform such simulations, and give the reader access to a few user-friendly simple . . .

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