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Theoretical Considerations on the Evolution of Sombart’s Center-Periphery Model


  • Vlad I. RO?CA

    () (Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania)


This historical essay looks at how the center-periphery model has developed over the twentieth century. The analysis begins from Werner Sombart’s industrialagrarian cleavage and carries on to identify how the model has been altered during the years. Apart from Sombart’s incipient phase, the paper identifies three other distinct periods that have contributed to the evolution of the center-periphery dichotomy: the postbelic recovery of nations up to the mid-1970’s, a second period situated between 1975 and the fall of the Iron Courtain (strongly influenced by the works of Shils) and, last but not least, the post-1990 ‘polycentric development’ era. By analyzing these distinct periods, the research comes to the conclusion that center-periphery relationships have known different characteristics, from a periphery heavily reliant on knowledge and technology to be transferred from the center, to a more autonomous periphery closer to our days, aspiring to converge with the center by using more of its own forces.

Suggested Citation

  • Vlad I. RO?CA, 2018. "Theoretical Considerations on the Evolution of Sombart’s Center-Periphery Model," REVISTA DE MANAGEMENT COMPARAT INTERNATIONAL/REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL COMPARATIVE MANAGEMENT, Faculty of Management, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 19(1), pages 77-87, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:rom:rmcimn:v:19:y:2018:i:1:p:77-87

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Buhaug, Halvard & Cederman, Lars-Erik & Rød, Jan Ketil, 2008. "Disaggregating Ethno-Nationalist Civil Wars: A Dyadic Test of Exclusion Theory," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(03), pages 531-551, July.
    2. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-499, June.
    3. Bianchi, Ana Maria, 2002. "For Different Audiences, Different Arguments: Economic Rhetoric at the Beginning of the Latin American School," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(03), pages 291-305, September.
    4. Alain de Janvry & Carlos Garramón & Carlos Garramón & Alain de Janvry, 1977. "Laws of Motion of Capital in the Center-Periphery Structure," Review of Radical Political Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, vol. 9(2), pages 29-38, July.
    5. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "Globalization and History: The Evolution of a Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650592, March.
    6. Andrew K. Copus, 2001. "From Core-periphery to Polycentric Development: Concepts of Spatial and Aspatial Peripherality," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(4), pages 539-552, June.
    7. Talcott Parsons, 1928. ""Capitalism" In Recent German Literature: Sombart and Weber," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36, pages 641-641.
    8. Günter Krumme, 1968. "Werner Sombart and the Economic Base Concept," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(1), pages 112-116.
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    More about this item


    center-periphery; convergence; world economy; technology transfer.;

    JEL classification:

    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F40 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - General
    • F50 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - General
    • F60 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - General


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