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Spatial Clustering Of NGOs: An Evolutionary Economic Geography Approach

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  • Dirk-Jan Koch

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  • Ruerd Ruben
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    Abstract

    Strong patterns of concentration characterize the location decisions of development NGOs. Since current theories on non-profit location choice tend to neglect such tendencies, this article develops an evolutionary economic geography approach to non-profit organizations. It focuses on increasing returns to scale, labor mobility and path dependence and contextualizes those factors. A survey involving visual ranking methods of OECD-based development NGOs and structured field-level interviews with local NGOs in the Central African Republic and Tanzania provide original empirical data. Statistical methods are used to contrast the divergent experiences in the two countries. The article concludes that the increased interest of international NGOs in Tanzania and their continued lack of interest in the Central African Republic are self-perpetuating processes that explain the concentration of NGOs. This concentration may lead to increased efficiency, but reduces the equitable distribution of NGO aid and therefore has implications for the attainment of global poverty goals.

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    File URL: http://econ.geo.uu.nl/peeg/peeg0814.pdf
    File Function: Version August 2008
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography in its series Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) with number 0814.

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    Length: 46 pages
    Date of creation: Aug 2008
    Date of revision: Aug 2008
    Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:0814

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    Keywords: economic geography; clusters; NGO; aid; Tanzania; Central African Republic;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    References

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    15. Krugman, Paul, 1998. "What's New about the New Economic Geography?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(2), pages 7-17, Summer.
    16. Arnoud Lagendijk, 2003. "Towards Conceptual Quality in Regional Studies: The Need for Subtle Critique - A Response to Markusen," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6-7), pages 719-727.
    17. Anna Fruttero & Varun Gauri, 2005. "The Strategic Choices of NGOs: Location Decisions in Rural Bangladesh," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(5), pages 759-787.
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