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From Retro to Avant-garde: A Commentary on Paul Krugman's 'The New Economic Geography, Now Middle-aged'


  • Michael Storper


Storper M. From retro to avant-garde: a commentary on Paul Krugman's 'The New Economic Geography, Now Middle-aged', Regional Studies. This paper takes issue with Paul Krugman's claim that the New Economic Geography should be considered 'now middle-aged'. The New Economic Geography can be updated to account for current developments in advanced economies, notably innovation-driven agglomeration and urbanization. The New Economic Geography also needs improvement in its ability to address dynamic processes and causal forces in spatial economics. These updates would require that the New Economic Geography breaks some of its self-imposed theoretical and methodological shackles. This in turn would entail achieving a better balance between economists' love for parsimony and geographers' thirst for complexity. Economics itself offers some clues as to how to succeed in this task. Thus updated, the New Economic Geography could present a compelling approach to innovation-driven agglomeration and specialization in the advanced countries, as well as the development of regions in emerging economies. [image omitted] Storper M. Du retro a l'avant-garde: une analyse de l'article de Paul Krugman intitule 'La nouvelle geographie economique atteint l'age mur, Regional Studies. Ce present article entre en desaccord avec Paul Krugman qui pretend que la nouvelle geographie economique atteint 'l'age mur'. On peut remettre a jour la nouvelle geographie economique afin de tenir compte des developpements recents dans les economies avancees, notamment les processus d'agglomeration et d'urbanisation determines par l'innovation. On doit aussi ameliorer la capacite de la nouvelle geographie economique d'aborder les processus dynamiques et les forces motrices de l'economie geographique. Ces remises a jour necessiteraient que la nouvelle geographie economique brise quelques-unes de ses chaines auto-imposees, a la fois theoriques et methodologiques. Cela necessiterait egalement une meilleure equilibre entre, d'un cote, la preference des economistes pour la parcimonie et, de l'autre cote, le soif de complexite des geographes. Les sciences economiques permettent d'etablir comment le reussir. Une fois mise a jour, la nouvelle geographie economique pourrait representer une facon indiscutable d'aborder les processus d'agglomeration et de specialisation determines par l'innovation dans les pays avances, ainsi que le developpement des regions dans les economies naissantes Nouvelle geographie economique Agglomeration Regions Commerce international Storper M. Von Retro zu Avant-garde: Anmerkung zu Paul Krugmans These der “Neuen Wirtschaftsgeografie inzwischen im mittleren Alter“, Regional Studies. In diesem Beitrag wird der Behauptung von Paul Krugman widersprochen, dass sich die Neue Wirtschaftsgeografie inzwischen im mittleren Alter befindet. Die Neue Wirtschaftsgeografie lasst sich aktualisieren, um auf die jungsten Entwicklungen in den Industriestaaten einzugehen, insbesondere auf die innovationsorientierte Agglomeration und Urbanisierung. Ebenso ist die Neue Wirtschaftsgeografie hinsichtlich ihrer Fahigkeit zum Eingehen auf dynamische Prozesse und kausale Krafte in der Raumokonomie verbesserungsbedurftig. Fur diese Verbesserungen ware es erforderlich, dass die Neue Wirtschaftsgeografie einige ihrer selbst auferlegten theoretischen und methodologischen Fesseln abwirft. Auf diese Weise wurde wiederum ein besseres Gleichgewicht zwischen der Liebe der Okonomen zur Sparsamkeit und dem Durst der Geografen nach Komplexitat geschaffen. Fur die Frage, wie dies zu erreichen ist, kann die Okonomie selbst einige Anhaltspunkte liefern. Durch eine solche Aktualisierung konnte die Neue Wirtschaftsgeografie einen uberzeugenden Ansatz zur innovationsorientierten Agglomeration und Spezialisierung in den Industrielandern sowie zur Weiterentwicklung von Regionen in Schwellenlandern bieten. Neue Wirtschaftsgeografie Agglomeration Regionen Internationaler Handel Storper M. De retro a vanguardista: observacion sobre la tesis de Paul Krugman 'La Nueva Geografia Economica ahora ya ha madurado', Regional Studies. En este articulo contradigo la afirmacion de Paul Krugman de que podriamos considerar que la Nueva Geografia Economica ahora ya ha madurado. La Nueva Geografia Economica puede actualizarse para responder a los desarrollos actuales en economias avanzadas, sobre todo en cuanto a la aglomeracion y la urbanizacion impulsadas por la innovacion. La Nueva Geografia Economica tambien necesita mejorar su capacidad para abordar procesos dinamicos y fuerzas causales en las economias espaciales. Para conseguir estas mejoras seria necesario que la Nueva Geografia Economica se liberase de algunos de sus grilletes teoricos y metodologicos que se ha autoimpuesto. De este modo tambien se lograria un mejor equilibrio entre el amor de los economistas por la parsimonia y la sed de los geografos por la complejidad. La misma economia ofrece algunas pistas sobre como tener exito en esta tarea. Mediante esta actualizacion, la Nueva Geografia Economica podria presentar un enfoque convincente para la aglomeracion y especializacion impulsadas por la innovacion en los paises avanzados asi como el desarrollo de regiones en economias emergentes. Nueva Geografia Economica Aglomeracion Regiones Comercio internacional

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Storper, 2011. "From Retro to Avant-garde: A Commentary on Paul Krugman's 'The New Economic Geography, Now Middle-aged'," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(1), pages 9-15.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:45:y:2011:i:1:p:9-15
    DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2011.537130

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    Cited by:

    1. Albrecht Kauffmann, 2013. "The Russian Urban System in Transition: The View of New Economic Geography," ERSA conference papers ersa13p280, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Banister, David, 2012. "Viewpoint: Assessing the reality—Transport and land use planning to achieve sustainability," The Journal of Transport and Land Use, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota, vol. 5(3), pages 1-14.
    3. Chidlow, Agnieszka & Holmström-Lind, Christine & Holm, Ulf & Tallman, Steve, 2015. "Do I stay or do I go? Sub-national drivers for post-entry subsidiary development," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 266-275.
    4. Robin Hickman & Moshe Givoni & David Bonilla & David Banister (ed.), 2015. "Handbook on Transport and Development," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14586.
    5. Gilberto Seravalli, 2016. "Dimensioni e crescita delle città in Europa: l’incertezza danneggia soprattutto le città medie," SCIENZE REGIONALI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2016(2), pages 91-108.


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