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A Perspective of Economic Geography


  • Allen J. Scott


The paper opens with a statement on the social embeddedness of knowledge. The disciplinary situation and practices of economic geographers are reviewed in the light of this statement. The rise of a new geographical economics is noted, and its main thrust is summarized in terms of a description of the core model as formulated by Krugman. The geographers' reception of the new geographical economics is described, and some key aspects of this reception are assessed. I then subject the core model itself to critical evaluation. Its claims about pecuniary externalities in the context of Chamberlinian competition provide a number of useful insights. However, I argue that the model is deficient overall in the manner in which it tackles the central problem of agglomeration. The discussion then moves on to consideration of the recent interest shown by many economic geographers in issues of culture. After a brief exposition of what this means for economic geography, I offer the verdict that this shift of emphasis has much to recommend it, but that in some of its more extreme versions it is strongly susceptible to the temptations of philosophical idealism and political voluntarism. In the final part of the paper, I attempt to pinpoint some of the major tasks ahead for economic geography in the phase of post-'late capitalism'. I suggest, in particular, that a new cognitive map of capitalist society as a whole is urgently needed, and I offer some brief remarks about how its basic specifications might be identified. Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Allen J. Scott, 2004. "A Perspective of Economic Geography," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(5), pages 479-499, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jecgeo:v:4:y:2004:i:5:p:479-499

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    3. Chincarini, Ludwig & Asherie, Neer, 2008. "An analytical model for the formation of economic clusters," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 252-270, May.
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    5. Behrens, Kristian, 2007. "On the location and lock-in of cities: Geography vs transportation technology," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 22-45, January.
    6. Gilles Duranton & Michael Storper, 2006. "Agglomeration and growth: a dialogue between economists and geographers," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 1-7, January.
    7. Vadim Nikolaevich Ukrainsky, 2012. "Methodological Pluralism in the Study of the Economic Space," Spatial Economics=Prostranstvennaya Ekonomika, Economic Research Institute, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences (Khabarovsk, Russia), issue 4, pages 87-109.
    8. Wilson Suzigan & João Furtado & Renato Garcia, 2007. "Designing Policies for Local Production Systems: A Methodology Based on Evidence from Brazil," Economia, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics], vol. 8(1), pages 161-186.
    9. Sophie Webber, 2015. "Randomising Development: Geography, Economics and the Search for Scientific Rigour," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 106(1), pages 36-52, February.
    10. Jérome VICENTE (LEREPS-GRES) & Yan Dalla PRIA (CSO – CNRS) & Raphaël SUIRE (CREM – CNRS), 2006. "The Ambivalent Role of Mimetic Behaviors in Proximity Dynamics: Evidences on the French “Silicon Sentier”," Cahiers du GRES (2002-2009) 2006-02, Groupement de Recherches Economiques et Sociales.
    11. Brenner Thomas, 2008. "Cluster dynamics and policy implications," Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsgeographie, De Gruyter, vol. 52(1), pages 146-162, October.
    12. Argentino Pessoa, 2014. "Agglomeration and regional growth policy: externalities versus comparative advantages," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 53(1), pages 1-27, August.
    13. Daniel Oto-Peralías, 2018. "What do street names tell us? The ‘city-text’ as socio-cultural data," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 187-211.
    14. Robert & Claudia Klaerding, 2012. "Theoretical advancement in economic geography by engaged pluralism," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1202, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Jan 2012.
    15. Michael Storper, 2010. "Agglomeration, Trade, And Spatial Development: Bringing Dynamics Back In," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 313-342, February.
    16. José M. Gaspar, 2018. "A prospective review on New Economic Geography," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 61(2), pages 237-272, September.
    17. Ron A. Boschma & Koen Frenken, 2006. "Why is economic geography not an evolutionary science? Towards an evolutionary economic geography," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(3), pages 273-302, June.
    18. Kesidou, Effie & Szirmai, Adam, 2008. "Local Knowledge Spillovers, Innovation and Economic Performance in Developing Countries: A discussion of alternative specifications," MERIT Working Papers 2008-033, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    19. Céline Rozenblat, 2010. "Opening the Black Box of Agglomeration Economies for Measuring Cities’ Competitiveness through International Firm Networks," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 47(13), pages 2841-2865, November.
    20. Andy Pike & Gillian Bristow & Mike Coombes & Cindy Fan & Andy Gillespie & Richard Harris & Angela Hull & Neill Marshall & Colin Wren, 2007. "Editorial: Regional Studies : 40 Years and More …," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(sup1), pages 1-8.
    21. Reddy, K.S. & Xie, En, 2017. "Cross-border mergers and acquisitions by oil and gas multinational enterprises: Geography-based view of energy strategy," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 961-980.

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