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Globalization: Countries, Cities and Multinationals

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  • Philip McCann
  • Zoltan Acs

Abstract

McCann P. and Acs Z. J. Globalization: countries, cities and multinationals, Regional Studies. This paper explores the relationship between the size of a country, the size of its cities, and the importance of economies of scale in the modern era of globalization. In order to do this, it integrates three different literatures, namely the literature on the optimal size of a country, the literature on historical processes of urbanization and the performance of cities, and the literature on the role of multinational firms in the global economy. Using an economic geography perspective, but looking at these issues through the lens of economic history, it is demonstrated that the importance of agglomeration effects, and in particular relationship between city size and the prosperity of the nation-state, has changed over the different eras of globalization. In earlier eras of globalization, the importance of agglomeration was represented by a fairly simple relationship between the scale of the city and the scale of country-empire, whereas during the inter-war years of the twentieth century, this relationship began to change and to evolve into a much more complex set of relationships that are seen today. In the modern era of globalization the role of multinational companies has become critical for the global connectivity of a city-region, and city-regions in turn are seen increasingly to drive national economies. For industrialized countries the size of a city is nowadays much less important than its level of global connectivity, whereas the size of the city is still dominant in newly industrializing countries. As such, the relationships between firms, cities, and countries have in many ways been largely reversed, thereby casting doubt on various institutional economic theories regarding the optimal size of a country. [image omitted] McCann P. et Acs Z. J. La mondialisation: les pays, les grandes villes et les societes multinationales, Regional Studies. Cet article cherche a examiner le rapport entre la superficie d'un pays, la taille de ses grandes villes, et l'importance des economies d'echelle a l'heure de la mondialisation. Pour le faire, on combine trois sources de documentation, a savoir la documentation a propos de la taille optimale d'un pays, la documentation sur les processus historiques de l'urbanisation et la performance des grandes villes, et la documentation au sujet du role des societes multinationales dans l'economie mondiale. A partir de la geographie economique, et en examinant ces questions sous l'optique de l'histoire economique aussi, on demontre que l'importance des effets d'agglomeration, et notamment le rapport entre la taille des grandes villes et la richesse de l'Etat-nation, a change sur le temps au fur et a mesure de la mondialisation. Aux premieres phases de la mondialisation, l'importance de l'agglomeration a ete representee par un rapport relativement simple entre l'envergure des grandes villes et celle de l'Empire-nation, tandis que, pendant l'entre-deux-guerres du vingtieme siecle, ce rapport a commence a changer et a evoluer vers un ensemble beaucoup plus complexe de rapports qui persistent aujourd'hui. A l'etape actuelle de la mondialisation, le role des societes multinationales est devenu decisif pour ce qui est de la connectivite mondiale d'une region-cite, et, a leur tour, les regions-cites sont considerees de plus en plus les forces motrices des economies nationales. Pour les pays industrialises, la taille des grandes villes est de nos jours beaucoup moins importante que ne l'est son niveau de connectivite mondiale, alors que la taille des grandes villes predomine dans les pays en voie d'industrialisation. Par la suite, les rapports entre les entreprises, les grandes villes et les pays ont ete dans une large mesure inverses, mettant ainsi en doute diverses theories economiques recues quant a la superficie optimale d'un pays. Echelle Grandes villes Pays Societes multinationals Mondialisation McCann P. und Acs Z. J. Globalisierung: Lander, Stadte und multinationale Firmen, Regional Studies. In diesem Beitrag wird das Verhaltnis zwischen der Grosse eines Landes, der Grosse der Stadte dieses Landes und der Bedeutung der Rationalisierungseffekte im modernen Zeitalter der Globalisierung untersucht. Hierfur werden drei verschiedene Literaturen miteinander komsbiniert: die Literatur uber die optimale Grosse eines Landes, die Literatur uber die geschichtlichen Prozesse der Urbanisierung und Leistungsfahigkeit von Stadten sowie die Literatur uber die Rolle von multinationalen Firmen in der Weltwirtschaft. Anhand einer wirtschaftlichen Geografieperspektive, doch bei gleichzeitiger Betrachtung durch das Objektiv der Wirtschaftsgeschichte, wird nachgewiesen, dass sich die Bedeutung von Agglomerationseffekten und insbesondere der Beziehung zwischen der Stadtgrosse und dem Wohlstand des Nationalstaats in den verschiedenen Zeitaltern der Globalisierung geandert hat. In fruheren Zeitaltern der Globalisierung zeigte sich die Bedeutung der Agglomeration in einer relativ einfachen Beziehung zwischen der Grosse der Stadt und der Grosse des Landesreichs. Diese Beziehung anderte sich im 20. Jahrhundert in den Jahren zwischen den Weltkriegen allmahlich und entwickelte sich zu einem weitaus komplexeren Geflecht aus Beziehungen, wie wir es heute sehen. Im modernen Zeitalter der Globalisierung ist die Rolle der multinationalen Unternehmen fur die weltweite Anbindung einer Stadtregion unverzichtbar geworden, wahrend die Stadtregionen zunehmend als Antriebskrafte fur die nationalen Okonomien gelten. Fur industrialisierte Lander ist die Grosse einer Stadt heutzutage deutlich weniger wichtig als das Ausmass ihrer weltweiten Anbindung, wahrend in sich neu industrialisierenden Landern die Grosse einer Stadt weiterhin eine dominierende Rolle spielt. Daher haben sich die Beziehungen zwischen Firmen, Stadten und Landern in vielerlei Hinsicht grosstenteils umgekehrt, was Zweifel an den verschiedenen institutionellen Wirtschaftstheorien uber die optimale Grosse eines Landes aufkommen lasst. Massstab Stadte Lander Multinationale Firmen Globalisierung McCann P. y Acs Z. J. Globalizacion: paises, ciudades y multinacionales, Regional Studies. En este articulo analizamos la relacion entre el tamano de un pais, el tamano de sus ciudades y la importancia de las economias de escala en la moderna era de la globalizacion. Para ello, combinamos tres literaturas diferentes: la literatura sobre el tamano optimo de un pais, la literatura sobre los procesos historicos de urbanizacion y el desempeno de las ciudades y la literatura sobre el papel de las empresas multinacionales en la economia internacional. A partir de una perspectiva geografica economica y a la vez analizando estas cuestiones por el tamiz de la historia economica, demostramos que la importancia de los efectos de aglomeracion y en particular la relacion entre el tamano de las ciudades y la prosperidad del estado nacional, ha cambiado en las diferentes eras de la globalizacion. En periodos anteriores de la globalizacion, la importancia de la aglomeracion estaba representada mediante una relacion bastante sencilla entre la escala de la ciudad y la escala del pais-imperio, mientras que durante el periodo de entreguerras del siglo XX, esta relacion empezo a cambiar y convertirse en una serie de relaciones mucho mas complejas, tales como las conocemos hoy dia. En la era modera de la globalizacion, el papel de las sociedades multinacionales ha sido cada vez mas importante para la conectividad global de una region metropolitana mientras que se cree que las regiones metropolitanas impulsan cada vez mas las economias nacionales. Para los paises industrializados, el tamano de una ciudad es hoy dia mucho menos importante que su nivel de conectividad global mientras que el tamano de la ciudad todavia desempena un papel importante en los paises recien industrializados. De tal modo que las relaciones entre empresas, ciudades y paises se ha invertido en gran medida cuestionando las diferentes teorias economicas institucionales con respecto al tamano optimo de un pais. Escala Ciudades Paises Sociedades multinacionales Globalizacion

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Regional Studies.

Volume (Year): 45 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 17-32

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Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:45:y:2011:i:1:p:17-32

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Keywords: Scale; Cities; Countries; Multinational firms; Globalization;

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Cited by:
  1. Renato Redondi & Mariasole Bannò & Marco Mutinelli, 2011. "Air Connectivity and Foreign Direct Investments The economic effects of the introduction of new routes," ERSA conference papers ersa11p249, European Regional Science Association.
  2. Steven Brakman & Harry Garretsen & Charles van Marrewijk, 2009. "Economic Geography within and between European Nations: The Role of Market Potential and Density across Space and Time," CESifo Working Paper Series 2658, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Les Oxley & Shangqin Hong & Philip McCann, 2013. "Why Size Maters: Investigating the Drivers of Innovation and Economic Performance in New Zealand using the Business Operation Survey," Working Papers in Economics 13/13, University of Waikato, Department of Economics.

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