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Is the World's Economic Center of Gravity Already in Asia?

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  • Jean-Marie GRETHER
  • Nicole MATHYS

Abstract

This paper proposes a simple measure of the World's Economic Center of Gravity (WECG) based on national GDP figures and the geographical location of the world's most important cities. This measure makes it possible to characterize the location of economic activity around the globe. It turns out that, over the 1975-2004 period, the WECG has shifted towards Asia, and the location of economic activity has become more evenly spread. On average, the distance to the WECG, which is highly correlated with the remoteness indicator frequently used in the trade gravity literature, has decreased more in Asian cities (-12%) and increased more in European cities (+16%).

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Marie GRETHER & Nicole MATHYS, 2008. "Is the World's Economic Center of Gravity Already in Asia?," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 08.03, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  • Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:08.03
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    File URL: http://www.hec.unil.ch/deep/textes/08.03.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jean-François Brun & Céline Carrère & Patrick Guillaumont & Jaime de Melo, 2015. "Has Distance Died? Evidence from a Panel Gravity Model," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Developing Countries in the World Economy, chapter 13, pages 299-320 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. Werner Antweiler & Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 2001. "Is Free Trade Good for the Environment?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 877-908, September.
    3. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2004. "Market Potential and the Location of Japanese Investment in the European Union," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 959-972, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Björn Frank & Gulimire Abulaiti & Takao Enkawa, 2012. "What characterizes Chinese consumer behavior? A cross-industry analysis of the Chinese diaspora in Japan," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 683-700, September.
    2. Shahid Yusuf & Kaoru Nabeshima & Shoichi Yamashita, 2008. "Growing Industrial Clusters in Asia : Serendipity and Science," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6429.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Geographical location of economic activity; center of gravity; spatial imbalances;

    JEL classification:

    • F01 - International Economics - - General - - - Global Outlook

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