Economic geography is growing in importance within the economic disciplines. In Times Higher Education ranking of the most important research fronts in the social sciences 2003-2008, ‘relational and evolutionary economic geography’ was ranked as No. 3. Traditionally, the optimal localization of industry and services were the main issues of economic geography. Location theories and models dominated and anchored the subject within mainstream economics. The majority of contemporary economic geography research is, however, based on more heterodox, institutional and evolutionary approaches to economics with an overwhelming amount of research directed towards innovation, competitiveness and regional growth in various settings, the importance of externalities, and spatial dimensions of long term economic transformation. Basic and applied policy relevant research in economic geography deliver important contributions to the understanding of economic growth, competitiveness, innovation, welfare creation, and globalization with special focus on the development of cities and regions.
Main research fields
In Lund, research in economic geography is primarily directed towards the following research areas. One direction is dealing with spatial dimensions of technology shifts, agglomeration and regional transformation in a long time perspective. The overarching perspective comes from micro and macro evolutionary economic geography. Another direction is focusing on international comparative analyses of regional innovation systems and the importance of sectorial and regional differences for innovativeness and regional development, mainly based on an institutional/relational approach. A third direction studies the geography of the creative class focusing on labour market dynamics and especially the geography of highly qualified labour. Finally, a forth and complementary direction focuses on regional innovation policies and local and regional development strategies. (For a list of ongoing research project see projects.)
The following staff members are economic geographers: Bjørn Asheim, Ann-Katrin Bäcklund (Dean of Social Science Faculty), Høgni Kalsø Hansen, Martin Henning, Ola Jonsson, Karl-Johan Lundquist, Roman Martin, Jerker Moodysson, Lars-Olof Olander, Gunnar Törnqvist, Elena Zukauskaite.