What Is Economic Geography?

Paul Krugman an economist who has contributed significantly to the field of economic geography.
Paul Krugman an economist who has contributed significantly to the field of economic geography.

What Is Economic Geography?

Economic geography is a discipline that studies the location, distribution, and spatial organization of economic activities across the world. Over the years, economic geography has taken various approaches to different subject matters such as the location of industries, the benefits firms obtain by locating near each other (economies of agglomeration), transportation geography which studies the connection and movement between people and goods. Other subject matters include the relationship between the environment and economy, international trade, urban areas economics, real estate, and development, as well as gentrification which is the revival and development of urban neighborhoods which are in bad condition.

History Of Economic Geography

The comprehensive knowledge of geography was enhanced several years back due to the development of maps and travel journals which had various descriptions of the native people, climate, landscape, and the productivity levels of various locations, classified as a science of cartography. Due to the vast knowledge provided by these journals, transcontinental trade patterns were established which led to the development of the economic theory and practice from the 16th century. The further popularization of geographical knowledge was contributed to during the Second World War while the growth of economic geography as a discipline was seen after the war during the recovery and development of the economy. Various theories like the climatic determinism by Ellsworth Huntington and the Central place theory of core and periphery by Walter Christaller also played a major role.

Branches Of Economic Geography

Geography of Agriculture

This is the first branch which investigates the earth surface that has been transformed by human activities which its main focus is on structures and agricultural landscape.

Geography of Industry

This branch entails the position or location of a particular industry, raw materials, products, and distribution and how it affects its productivity.

Geography of International Trade

International trade is trade done across international borders. The geography of international trade studies both the patterns and theories used.

Geography of Resources

This is another important branch which helps in the determining the location of natural resources, its availability, and how it will satisfy human needs and wants.

Geography of Transport and Communication

This branch investigates the movement and connection of people and goods while trying to give an understanding of the complex transportation modes available on earth’s surface.

Geography of Finance

This branch mainly studies the geographic patterns of finance globally and focuses on the creation of new financial centers in the world. It also studies how various factors such as sovereignty and culture affects financial distribution.

Relevance And Practical Application

Knowledge from the study of economic geography enables one examine their production in relation to their environment whereas it could bring about disparity from different regions. The disparity is majorly eliminated by mobilization of resources and a clear understanding of the inter-relationship between man and environment.Economic geography is a broad discipline and an essential element to both geographers as well as economists. Different researchers use different methods in its study like the neoclassical theorists who focus on quantitative methods while the Marxist political theory and the new economic geography takes into account all aspects to do with social, cultural, and institutional factors. Therefore it is an important factor when understood and properly used, it is very beneficial for productivity.


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