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Spatial spikes: bridging geography and economics to study distance, agglomeration, and policy

Objective

Economic geographers and geographical economists have been using different methods in order to analyse the location of economic activity. These different approaches to the same topic have, paradoxically, resulted in very similar geographical configurations: a ‘spiky’ world dominated by large metropoli, where intermediate and peripheral locations tend to matter less and less. This apparent similarity in outcomes hides, however, different explanations and policy recommendations. On the explanation side, economists have focused on understanding how the interaction of economic agents in reduced geographical spaces gives rise to large urban agglomerations. Geographers, in contrast, have increasingly concentrated on relative conceptions of space which highlight the importance of the interaction among often far-away places. On the policy side, economists have favoured spatially-blind policies, while geographers are strong advocates of place-based policies.
This interdisciplinary proposal will aim at bridging the gap between these two contrasting approaches, by combining concepts and methods developed by economic geographers and geographical economists in order to better understand how economic agglomeration emerges and how the interaction among distant agglomerations contributes to reinforce, rather than weaken, their importance. It will also elaborate on the adequate policy-mix which could be applied in order to optimize policy intervention in diverse geographical context and time settings.
In addition to bridging approaches, the proposal will advance knowledge at the frontier of both disciplines with a combination of theoretical and empirical papers revolving around three key sets of questions where new research is particularly needed:
1. Origins and microeconomic dynamics of spatial spikes
2. Territorial dynamics and interactions among and beyond spatial spikes
3. Spatial policy design

Call for proposal

ERC-2010-AdG_20100407
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-AG - ERC Advanced Grant

Host institution

LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE
Address
Houghton Street 1
WC2A 2AE London
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 716 467,94
Principal investigator
Andrés Rodríguez-Pose (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Francis Manu (Mr.)

Beneficiaries (3)

LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 716 467,94
Address
Houghton Street 1
WC2A 2AE London
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Andrés Rodríguez-Pose (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Francis Manu (Mr.)
INSTITUTO MADRILENO DE ESTUDIOS AVANZADOS FUNDACION

Participation ended

Spain
EU contribution
€ 420 869,30
Address
Calle Isaac Newton 2
28760 Tres Cantos
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Sara Alfonso Romero (Ms.)
FUNDACION CENTRO DE ESTUDIOS MONETARIOS Y FINANCIEROS
Spain
EU contribution
€ 780 767,17
Address
Casado Del Alisal 5
28014 Madrid
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Gema Salazar (Ms.)