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Spatial economics and spatial externalities: A survey of theory and emprics

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  • Bořek Vašíček

Abstract

The spatial and regional analysis has a long tradition but until very recently the mainstream economics has not given careful attention to space. This article surveys recent contributions on the spatial or regional economics, which often overlaps with urban economics. As this literature is very heterogeneous, we use the concept of spatial externalities as the common criterion for the basic classification of the studies. The pecuniary externalities, which are by-product of the market transactions, became the cornerstone of the New Economic Geography (NEG) introduced by Krugman. NEG is presently the dominant theory in the economics of space as it builds on robust microeconomic foundations. Yet its empirical verification is at the very beginning. On the contrary the technological externalities are believed to arise rather spontaneously because of the physical proximity rather then intentional economic transactions. The existing research on these externalities is predominately empiric. Meanwhile the human capital externalities are example of static technological externalities; the related externalities of labour pooling are of pecuniary nature. Finally, the knowledge externalities or spillovers are pure technological externalities. There are three main strands of literature that employ this concept: studies on local economic growth, empirical studies on the localized knowledge spillovers (part of it known as spatial econometrics) and Italian New Industrial Geography. Many of the studies give important insight on the formation of economic space but all lacks generality. For this reason it would be vital in the future to extent the studies that they could deal with different kinds of spatial externalities and directly compare their individual importance in territory.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Economics, Prague in its journal Politická ekonomie.

Volume (Year): 2008 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 684-708

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Handle: RePEc:prg:jnlpol:v:2008:y:2008:i:5:id:659:p:684-708

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Keywords: spatial externalities; external economies; spatial economics; economic geography; agglomeration;

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