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The metropolis in retrospect From the trading metropolis to the global metropolis


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  • Lise Bourdeau-Lepage
  • Jean-Marie Huriot


Metropolization is not a new phenomenon : metropolises have been around for centuries. The prime and permanent function of a metropolis is the coordination of economic activities at a world scale. This function has been applied to different activities in history, depending on technological conditions and economic organization, and consequently it generated different forms of metropolises. The resulting continuities and discontinuities in the metropolises? evolution can be understood in terms of agglomeration economies. In the pre-industrial period, the trading metropolis coordinates long range trade. The industrial revolutions generate new needs for coordination of production and give rise to the manufacturing metropolis. Finally, the information revolution and the emergence of the post-industrial economy create the global metropolis.

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Article provided by De Boeck Université in its journal Recherches économiques de Louvain.

Volume (Year): 71 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 257-284

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Handle: RePEc:cai:reldbu:rel_713_0257

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  1. Richard Arnott & Alex Anas & Kenneth Small, 1997. "Urban Spatial Structure," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 388., Boston College Department of Economics.
  2. BOURDEAU-LEPAGE, Lise & Jean-Marie HURIOT, 2002. "Local Interactions and the Global City Metropolization in Warsaw," LATEC - Document de travail - Economie (1991-2003) 2002-03, LATEC, Laboratoire d'Analyse et des Techniques EConomiques, CNRS UMR 5118, Université de Bourgogne.
  3. Edward E Leamer & Michael Storper, 2001. "The Economic Geography of the Internet Age," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 32(4), pages 641-665, December.
  4. Ota, Mitsuru & Fujita, Masahisa, 1993. "Communication technologies and spatial organization of multi-unit firms in metropolitan areas," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 695-729, December.
  5. Jess Gaspar & Edward Glaeser, 1996. "Information Technology and the Future of Cities," NBER Working Papers 5562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Gehrig, Thomas, 1998. "Cities and the Geography of Financial Centres," CEPR Discussion Papers 1894, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. BOURDEAU-LEPAGE, Lise, 2001. "Varsovie entre polarisation et dispersion," LATEC - Document de travail - Economie (1991-2003) 2001-10, LATEC, Laboratoire d'Analyse et des Techniques EConomiques, CNRS UMR 5118, Université de Bourgogne.
  8. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213.
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Cited by:
  1. Lise Bourdeau-Lepage & Jean-Marie Huriot, 2009. "L'idée de région et le fait urbain The idea of region and the urban fact," Revue d'économie régionale et urbaine, Armand Colin, vol. 0(2), pages 267-287.
  2. Lise BOURDEAU-LEPAGE ( ADIS, Université Paris Sud 11) & Frédéric GASCHET (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113) & Claude LACOUR (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113) & Sylvette PUISSANT (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113), 2011. "Metropolitanization 15 years after (In French)," Cahiers du GREThA 2011-13, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.


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