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


  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Lise Bourdeau-Lepage & Jean-Marie Huriot, 2005. "The metropolis in retrospect From the trading metropolis to the global metropolis," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 71(3), pages 257-284.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:reldbu:rel_713_0257

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Lise Bourdeau-Lepage, 2002. "Varsovie entre polarisation et dispersion," Revue d'économie régionale et urbaine, Armand Colin, vol. 0(5), pages 805-827.
    3. Edward E Leamer & Michael Storper, 2001. "The Economic Geography of the Internet Age," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 32(4), pages 641-665, December.
    4. Alex Anas & Richard Arnott & Kenneth A. Small, 1998. "Urban Spatial Structure," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1426-1464, September.
    5. 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.
    6. Gehrig, Thomas, 1998. "Cities and the Geography of Financial Centres," CEPR Discussion Papers 1894, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Gaspar, Jess & Glaeser, Edward L., 1998. "Information Technology and the Future of Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 136-156, January.
    8. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213-213.
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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.
    3. Lise Bourdeau-Lepage, 2014. "Greater Paris: A Plan for a Global City," ERSA conference papers ersa14p867, European Regional Science Association.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N70 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General
    • R30 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - General


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