Abstract

Over the past few years, a new 'geographical' economics has emerged, focused on the spatial agglomeration of industry and the long-run convergence of regional incomes. Several leading names are associated with this 'geographical turn', including Paul Krugman, Michael Porter, Robert Barro and W. Brian Arthur. This 'new economic geography', it is argued here, is neither that new, nor is it geography. Instead, it is a reworking (or re-invention) - using recent developments in formal (mathematical) mainstream economics - of traditional location theory and regional science. As such it is quite opposed to, and difficult to reconcile with, the work on regional development and industrial agglomeration being carried out in economic geography proper.

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