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Rethinking (New) Economic Geography Models: Taking Geography and History More Seriously

  • Harry Garretsen
  • Ron Martin

Abstract Two aspects of New Economic Geography models are often singled out for criticism, especially by geographers: the treatment of geography, typically as a pre-given, fixed and highly idealized abstract geometric space; and the treatment of history, typically as ‘logical’ time (the movement to equilibrium in a model's solution space) rather than real history. In this paper we examine the basis for these criticisms, and explore how far and in what ways NEG models might be made more credible with respect to their representation of geography and history, and particularly whether and to what extent the work of geographers themselves provides some insights in this regard. We argue that the conceptualization of space and time is in fact a challenge for both NEG theorists and economic geographers, and that, notwithstanding their ontological and epistemological differences, both groups would benefit from an interchange of ideas on this front. Réinventer les (nouveaux) modèles de géographie économique: comment prendre la géographie et l'histoire plus au sérieux Rèsumè Deux aspects particuliers des modèles de la nouvelle géographie économique sont souvent l'objet de critiques, notamment de la part des géographes, à savoir: le traitement de la géographie, généralement comme un espace géométrique abstrait prédéterminé, fixe et extrêmement idéalisé, et le traitement de l'histoire, généralement comme un créneau ‘logique’ (un mouvement vers l’équilibre dans un espace à solution du modèle) et non pas comme l'histoire réelle. Dans la présente communication, nous nous penchons sur le fondement de ces critiques, et nous examinons dans quelle mesure les modèles de la NEG pourraient devenir plus plausibles sur le plan de la façon dont ils représentent la géographie et l'histoire, notamment si le travail des géographes apporte de nouveaux éléments sur cette question, et dans quelle mesure. Nous soutenons que la conceptualisation de l'espace et du temps constitue, en fait, un défi tant pour les théoriciens de la NEG que pour les géographes économiques, et qu'au-delà de leurs différences ontologiques et épistémologiques, un échange d'idées sur ce sujet serait bénéfique pour ces deux groupes. Reconsideración de modelos de (Nueva) Geografía Económica: Tomando más en serio la geografía y la historia Extracto A menudo, existen dos aspectos particulares de los modelos de Nueva Geografía Económica que reciben críticas, especialmente por parte de los geógrafos: el tratamiento de la geografía, típicamente como un espacio geométrico abstracto altamente idealizado, fijo y predeterminado; y, el tratamiento de la historia, típicamente como un tiempo ‘lógico’ (el movimiento hacia el equilibrio en el espacio de solución de un modelo), en lugar de como historia real. En este estudio examinamos la base de estas críticas y exploramos hasta qué punto y de qué formas, los modelos NEG podrían hacerse más creíbles con respecto a su representación de la geografía e historia, y particularmente, si, y hasta qué punto el trabajo de los geógrafos mismos proporciona algún tipo de visión interna en esta cuestión. Discutimos que la conceptualización del espacio y el tiempo es, de hecho, un reto para los teóricos NEG y los geógrafos económicos, y que, independientemente de sus diferencias ontológicas y epistemológicas, ambos grupos se beneficiarían de un intercambio de ideas en este campo.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Spatial Economic Analysis.

Volume (Year): 5 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 127-160

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Handle: RePEc:taf:specan:v:5:y:2010:i:2:p:127-160
DOI: 10.1080/17421771003730729
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