Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Rethinking (New) Economic Geography Models: Taking Geography and History More Seriously


Author Info

  • Harry Garretsen
  • Ron Martin
Registered author(s):


    Abstract Two aspects of New Economic Geography models are often singled out for criticism, especially by geographers: the treatment of geography, typically as a pre-given, fixed and highly idealized abstract geometric space; and the treatment of history, typically as ‘logical’ time (the movement to equilibrium in a model's solution space) rather than real history. In this paper we examine the basis for these criticisms, and explore how far and in what ways NEG models might be made more credible with respect to their representation of geography and history, and particularly whether and to what extent the work of geographers themselves provides some insights in this regard. We argue that the conceptualization of space and time is in fact a challenge for both NEG theorists and economic geographers, and that, notwithstanding their ontological and epistemological differences, both groups would benefit from an interchange of ideas on this front. Réinventer les (nouveaux) modèles de géographie économique: comment prendre la géographie et l'histoire plus au sérieux Rèsumè Deux aspects particuliers des modèles de la nouvelle géographie économique sont souvent l'objet de critiques, notamment de la part des géographes, à savoir: le traitement de la géographie, généralement comme un espace géométrique abstrait prédéterminé, fixe et extrêmement idéalisé, et le traitement de l'histoire, généralement comme un créneau ‘logique’ (un mouvement vers l’équilibre dans un espace à solution du modèle) et non pas comme l'histoire réelle. Dans la présente communication, nous nous penchons sur le fondement de ces critiques, et nous examinons dans quelle mesure les modèles de la NEG pourraient devenir plus plausibles sur le plan de la façon dont ils représentent la géographie et l'histoire, notamment si le travail des géographes apporte de nouveaux éléments sur cette question, et dans quelle mesure. Nous soutenons que la conceptualisation de l'espace et du temps constitue, en fait, un défi tant pour les théoriciens de la NEG que pour les géographes économiques, et qu'au-delà de leurs différences ontologiques et épistémologiques, un échange d'idées sur ce sujet serait bénéfique pour ces deux groupes. Reconsideración de modelos de (Nueva) Geografía Económica: Tomando más en serio la geografía y la historia Extracto A menudo, existen dos aspectos particulares de los modelos de Nueva Geografía Económica que reciben críticas, especialmente por parte de los geógrafos: el tratamiento de la geografía, típicamente como un espacio geométrico abstracto altamente idealizado, fijo y predeterminado; y, el tratamiento de la historia, típicamente como un tiempo ‘lógico’ (el movimiento hacia el equilibrio en el espacio de solución de un modelo), en lugar de como historia real. En este estudio examinamos la base de estas críticas y exploramos hasta qué punto y de qué formas, los modelos NEG podrían hacerse más creíbles con respecto a su representación de la geografía e historia, y particularmente, si, y hasta qué punto el trabajo de los geógrafos mismos proporciona algún tipo de visión interna en esta cuestión. Discutimos que la conceptualización del espacio y el tiempo es, de hecho, un reto para los teóricos NEG y los geógrafos económicos, y que, independientemente de sus diferencias ontológicas y epistemológicas, ambos grupos se beneficiarían de un intercambio de ideas en este campo.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Spatial Economic Analysis.

    Volume (Year): 5 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 127-160

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:taf:specan:v:5:y:2010:i:2:p:127-160

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page:

    Order Information:

    Related research

    Keywords: New economic geography; proper economic geography; history; geography; R1; B4;

    Find related papers by JEL classification:


    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Fingleton, Bernard & Longhi, Simonetta, 2011. "The effects of agglomeration on wages: evidence from the micro-level," SIRE Discussion Papers 2011-57, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    2. Martin, Ron & Sunley, Peter, 2012. "Forms of emergence and the evolution of economic landscapes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 338-351.
    3. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2014. "Towards a Developmental Turn in Evolutionary Economic Geography?," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1401, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Jan 2014.
    4. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2011. "Forms of Emergence and the Evolution of Economic Landscapes," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1116, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Aug 2011.


    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:specan:v:5:y:2010:i:2:p:127-160. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael McNulty).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.