Economic activity, and related indices of socioeconomic well-being and human capital, have always tended to concentrate in space, leaving specific regions to be classified as “creative”, “developed”, or “core” regions and others as “have-not”, “less-developed, “peripheral”, or “marginal” regions. As a result, regional economic change has been very difficult to fully explain (and certainly predict) using conventional (orthodox) theories and methods. This course examines the theoretical linkage between related trends in terms of globalization, vertical disintegration, specialization, innovation, and the locational behaviour of firms. We will focus on the seemingly counter-intuitive finding that regional economic change in a time of increasing global interdependence is increasingly dependent on the local context. Topics will include evolutionary economic geography, path dependence, economic clusters, learning regions, the role of institutions, knowledge spill-overs, and the geography of innovation, among others. We will see why the economic activity is becoming ever more concentrated in space even as it globalizes. The course makes extensive use of empirical case studies from around the globe.
Society and its Institutions (3)