At the end of the course students will be able to:
- evaluate how neoclassical economics and evolutionary economics can be used for the analysis of spatial economic phenomena;
- apply abstracts theoretical concepts to current topics and real economic issues;
- from a theoretical perspectives, explain why there are differences in economic growth and development between countries/regions, and the role played by technological change;
- indicate why wealth of countries/regions converge or diverge over time;
- explain the concentration of economic activities and clustering effects from the concepts of agglomeration economies;
- understand the spatial patterns of industry dynamics;
- understand the uneven development of regions in evolutionary terms, from the concepts of path dependence, lock-in and adaptation;
- understand and handle the spatial modelling of network dynamics;
- evaluate what are the implications of the different theories that have been discussed for: spatial economic policy, industrial and innovation policy, both in terms of the principles and characteristics of policies, as well as for the goals of policy makers;
- evaluate the literature with a critical eye and make informed statements, present them, lead a discussion on this basis and make a final report.
There are important differences in terms of economic dynamics between cities and regions. Economic activities in general and industries in particular tend to concentrate only in a few areas. The question of why some areas tend to be wealthier than others, and how these differences in wealth change over time, is crucial.
Over the last few decades, extensive research has been conducted to understand the convergence process of cities and regions. In this course, we will analyze the economic success and failure of cities and regions according to the main economic theories of regional growth. We build on theories and concepts from previous courses and we start with agglomeration theories. Then we consider traditional growth theories of convergence and divergence, the basic concepts of evolutionary theory and its application to the spatial dynamics of industries, economic growth and the spatial dynamics of innovation networks. Special attention will be devoted to the spatial-economic and industrial and innovation policy in the Netherlands and the European Union. At the end of the course, we will organize a seminar with a number of people from the academic, policy, and business world.