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Internet, adjustment of firms and the spatial division of labour


  • Laaser, Claus-Friedrich


  • Soltwedel, Rüdiger



The rise of the Internet has been heralded as the 'death of distance' that may eventually entail a 'decline of the city'. Whether or not these futuristic visions will materialize will depend upon how firms and industries react to the Internet as a general-purpose technology. Besides the locational choice of New Economy firms themselves it is the adoption of E-commerce in industries of the 'old' economy which has the potential for re-shaping the economic geography of regions, and which may, in many instances radically so, change the way to manage the internal organization of firms as well as relationships with business partners (B2B) and with consumers (B2C). The paper aims at discussing elements of a conceptual approach for evaluating these spatial effects of E-commerce activities on locational patterns in the old economy by identifying suitable proxy indicators from existing evidence, such as connectivity to IT-infrastructures, sectoral differences in B2B solutions, market (de-)concentration processes, or changes of functional employment structures of cities. Key words: Internet, E-commerce, Organizational Change, Firm Location, Spatial Division of Labour

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  • Laaser, Claus-Friedrich & Soltwedel, Rüdiger, 2002. "Internet, adjustment of firms and the spatial division of labour," ERSA conference papers ersa02p520, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa02p520

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Masahisa Fujita & Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561476, July.
    2. Gaspar, Jess & Glaeser, Edward L., 1998. "Information Technology and the Future of Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 136-156, January.
    3. Duranton, Gilles & Puga, Diego, 2005. "From sectoral to functional urban specialisation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 343-370, March.
    4. Eric A. Nerlinger & Franz-Josef Bade, 2000. "The spatial distribution of new technology-based firms: Empirical results for West-Germany," Papers in Regional Science, Springer;Regional Science Association International, vol. 79(2), pages 155-176.
    5. Gillian Bristow & Max Munday & Peter Gripaios, 2000. "Call centre growth and location: corporate strategy ;and the spatial division of labour," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 32(3), pages 519-538, March.
    6. Bade, Franz-Josef & Niebuhr, Annekatrin & Schönert, Matthias, 2000. "Spatial structural change - evidence and prospects," HWWA Discussion Papers 87, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
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