Utilize este identificador para referenciar este registo: http://hdl.handle.net/10400.2/2873
Título: Critique of new economic geography to understand rural development: the influence of corporate strategy
Autor: Porfírio, José
Palavras-chave: New economic geography
Corporate strategy
Rural development
European Union
Agricultural district
Transaction costs
Data: 2013
Editora: Ashgate Publishing Company
Resumo: The economic development of societies has been, in general, from the agricultural to the services sector, making economies less real and more dependent on the intangible sectors. Agriculture was an important component of economic geography through the 1950s. But with the rise of model-building and quantitative methods, especially after the 1960s, the focus shifted to studies of industry. Most of the first studies about farming were in the sub-field of agricultural geography. ‘The result was that studies of agriculture within geography were cast either as old fashioned and backward looking or derivative of industrial geography (…) In any case, the secondary status of agriculture within economic geography was cemented into place’ (Page, 2000 [2003]). From the late 1970s, regional development theories became most oriented to the high technology industries. Economic theory was particularly concerned to explain the uneven income distribution between regions and the apparently better propensity of some regions to develop high-tech economic bases (Storper, 1997), related to both industry and the services sector. At the same time, associated with these tendencies, the economic theories that studied this evolution became more urban and less rural. In this sense, it is possible to say that, nowadays, there seems to be a kind of dogmatic position in economics that the evolution of societies should be made from the agricultural to the services sector. As a consequence, we see that the majority of the main economic theories that are available in the literature, and that can be heard in presentations made at international conferences, are dealing with the manufacturing or the services sector, while only a few theoretical papers in economics are dedicated to agriculture or primary sector activities. The 1990s saw the emergence of the New Economic Geography (NEG). NEG is mainly a ‘theoretical body of knowledge’ (Krugman, 1991b) – in the ‘new’ wave of economic theories – that asserts that the world is divided between a certain number of ‘centres’ and a huge number of ‘peripheral regions’ that surrounds these ‘centres’.According to the principles of NEG, it may be argued that the agricultural activities represent a burden for the regions, once the NEG’s authors were able to show, through the development and use of complex mathematical models, that the development dynamics of regions, heavily dependent on agriculture or agriculture-related activities –, even if we are talking about industries with the same characteristics as agriculture – will push them to the peripheral condition of less developed regions in contrast with any developed centre. The present financial and economic crisis that is affecting most of the world economies has increased the relevance of transaction costs as determinants of economic development and, at the same time, has thrown into question economic development patterns. We believe that this change will make the primary sector a vital sector in future economic development of each country and in particular it will be crucial in terms of the development of certain regions where these activities are more predominant. In accordance with this train of thought, in this chapter we try to explain a different possible view of development. We propose that, under certain conditions and armed with an adequate theoretical framework, it may be possible to see an alternative path of development for regions dependent on agriculture. This chapter is divided into four sections. Section 5.2. presents a brief overview of the evolution of economic theories explaining growth and development. In this section, we aim to show how the development of economics has led to the emergence of the NEG body of knowledge. Section 5.3. is dedicated, in particular, to the NEG’s ‘body of knowledge’. We start by briefly presenting NEG theory and its principles. Knowledge about the principles of NEG is very important in order to understand our view that the conclusions of NEG about the agricultural sector are of limited relevance if we take into consideration, first what should be the real importance of agriculture for societies in the near future; and, second, the impacts of introducing strategy (considered from the point of view of the individuals, the enterprises, the regions, or the country as a whole) into our analysis of rural development. This job is done in Section 5.4, where we analyse what we call the pitfalls of NEG concerning agriculture and their consequences regarding the conclusions of rural development theories. In Section 5.5, we explain the limitations of the present theories, and present a possible new framework for economic analysis of agricultural and rural regions that might leverage these new insights. To this end we propose the new concept of Agricultural District.
Peer review: yes
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10400.2/2873
ISBN: 978-1-4094-0692-1
Versão do Editor: http://www.ashgate.com/isbn/9781409406921
Aparece nas colecções:Gestão e Economia - Capítulos/artigos em livros internacionais / Book chapters/papers in international books

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