Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines

Economic theories and spatial transformations clarifying the space-time premises and outcomes of economic theories

Corpataux, Jose ; Crevoisier, Olivier

In: Journal of Economic Geography, 2007, vol. 7, no. 3, p. 285-309

This article examines the approaches adopted by various schools of economic thought towards dealing with space and time. Each school has its own approach, though their treatment of time and space has generally been implicit. These spatial and temporal factors determine, right from the start, the way both reality and the explanatory frameworks which are supposed to take account of that very... Plus

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    Summary
    This article examines the approaches adopted by various schools of economic thought towards dealing with space and time. Each school has its own approach, though their treatment of time and space has generally been implicit. These spatial and temporal factors determine, right from the start, the way both reality and the explanatory frameworks which are supposed to take account of that very reality are looked at. The purpose of examining these various economic approaches is to clarify the view of space and time that is reflected in their premises. These ultimately determine the sometimes radical differences that emerge when looking at various theoretical traditions.
    In the first section, a number of contributors to equilibrium theory (from Walras to Krugman) are brought together. The approaches they use are characterised by their historical relationships with physics and mathematics. In short, their view is that space is exogenous, unchangeable, objective and abstract. The second section concentrates on schools of thought rather than specific contributors. Institutional and territorial economics have developed different conceptions of space and time, drawing their inspiration from social science and complexity theory. Space and time are always concrete. Space is marked by contrasts: it is both specific and generic, given and constructed, endogenous and exogenous. Finally, in the context of territorial economics and complexity theory, the part played by those engaged in research and modelling is addressed in terms of the way space is constructed.