Evolutionary Economic Geography
Location of production and the European Union
Routledge – 2008 – 488 pages
The purpose of this book is to provide a guided tour through the theoretical foundations of spatial locations of firms and industries in an evolutionary economic framework. It addresses the issues of how a location of business in geographical space is selected and where economic activity may (re)locate in the future. The analysis is in the context of technological progress, innovation, disequilibrium and endemic uncertainty. Jovanovic raises pertinent questions such as how willing, motivated and able firms (and governments) are to adapt to constantly evolving new opportunities and challenges over time and to experiment and translate these perceptions into profitable actions. How is their ‘competitive position’ evolving relative to others and changing over time when faced with a stream of constantly arriving new opportunities, threats and obstacles? Considerations are always supported with a plethora of examples and cases from real life.
Jovanovic argues that the economy is a complex and constantly adaptive system which is almost always outside equilibrium. Building on this, he suggests that there is an important lacuna in our understanding of evolutionary spatial economics and that there is much space for further multidisciplinary research in this academic and practical area. This book offers an evolutionary and disequilibrium analysis of the subject and makes parallels, where appropriate and possible, among economics, geography, physics, biology and art. It considers key areas in theory, market and production structure, spatial location of domestic and foreign firms, as well as regional policy. In addition, there are references to policy intervention; importance of investment in local social stability, education and training; as well as to uncontrollable variables that are beyond the influence of firms, industries, regions or public authorities. The author offers various evolutionary insights and alternatives to the pure neoclassical equilibrium economic model.
"Nearly half a century ago, Walter Isard, the founder of regional science, suggested in his seminal book Location and Space Economy two promising approaches to further development of economic geography: the monopolistic competition approach and the evolutionary approach. As is well known, since the late 1980s, the monopolistic competition approach has been vigorously explored in the New Economic Geography. Then, the exploration of evolutionary approach started in the late 1990s, following the development of evolutionary economics and complexity theory. Although it is still in its infancy, evolutionary approach has been contributing significantly to the enrichment of economic geography, adding new perspectives to the longterm process of structural change in space and in time, In Evolutionary Economic Geography, Miroslav N. Jovanovic´ presents in lucid manner the state of arts in economic geography with a special focus on evolutionary approach. The book covers not only theory but also regional policy and location of production in the context of global economy. I enjoyed reading this wonderfully informative book and learned a lot, and so will you."
Masahisa Fujita, President of the Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry, Tokyo
Table of Contents, Preface, Foreword, I. Introduction, II. Theory, III. Regional policy, IV. Market structure and location of production, V. International firms, VI. Conclusions, VII. Bibliography
Miroslav N. Jovanovic is Economic Affairs Officer at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Geneva.