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Mountains in a flat world: why proximity still matters for the location of economic activity

Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés and Crescenzi, Riccardo (2008) Mountains in a flat world: why proximity still matters for the location of economic activity. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 1 (3). pp. 371-388. ISSN 1752-1378

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Identification Number: 10.1093/cjres/rsn011


Thomas Friedman (2005, The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux) argues that the expansion of trade, the internationalization of firms, the galloping process of outsourcing and the possibility of networking are creating a ‘flat world’: a level playing field where individuals are empowered and better off. This paper challenges this view of the world by arguing that not all territories have the same capacity to maximize the benefits and opportunities and minimize the risks linked to globalization. Numerous forces are coalescing in order to provoke the emergence of urban ‘mountains’ where wealth, economic activity and innovative capacity agglomerate. The interactions of these forces in the close geographical proximity of large urban areas give shape to a much more complex geography of the world economy.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2008 The Authors
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Spatial Economics Research Centre
Departments > Geography and Environment
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2009 10:45
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2013 14:15

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