Clark University

ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY ISSUE: Vol. 91 No. 1 January 2015




Design of new Economic Geography JournalEconomic Geography is an internationally peer-reviewed journal, committed to publishing cutting-edge research that makes theoretical advances to the discipline. Our long-standing specialization is to publish the best theoretically-based empirical articles that deepen the understanding of significant economic geography issues around the world. Owned by Clark University since 1925, Economic Geography actively supports scholarly activities of economic geographers. Economic Geography is published quarterly in January, April, July, and October.





Journal Articl


Roepke Lecture in Economic Geography—The Lives of Others: Body Work, the Production of Difference, and Labor Geographies

Linda McDowell, Pages 1–23
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Commentary on “The Lives of Others: Body Work, the Production of Difference, and Labor Geographies ”

Mona Domosh, Pages 25–28
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Toward a Dynamic Theory of Global Production Networks

Henry Wai-chung Yeung, Neil M. Coe, Pages 29–58
Abstract |Complete Article | Enhanced Article


Positionality Switch: Remapping Resource Communities in Russian Borderlands

Jarmo Kortelainen, Pertti Rannikko, Pages 59–82
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Geographic Effects on Intergenerational Income Mobility

Jonathan T. Rothwell, Douglas S. Massey, Pages 83–106
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Working Lives: Gender, Migration and Employment in Britain, 1945–2007 by Linda McDowell

Fiona Allon, pages 107–108
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Gendered Commodity Chains: Seeing Women’s Work and Households in Global Production edited by Wilma A. Dunaway

Jennifer Bair, pages 109–111
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Multinationals and Economic Geography: Location, Technology and Innovation by Simona Iammarino and Philip McCann

David W. Edgington, pages 113–114
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Subterranean Struggles: New Dynamics of Mining, Oil, and Gas in Latin America edited by Anthony Bebbington and Jeffrey Bury

Roy Maconachie, pages 115–116
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Invention & Reinvention: The Evolution of San Diego’s Innovation Economy by Mary Lindenstein Walshok and Abraham J. Shragge

Shiri M. Breznitz, pages 117–118
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Roepke Lecture in Economic Geography—The Lives of Others: Body Work, the Production of Difference, and Labor Geographies by Linda McDowell

Abstract: In this article I address one of the key aspects of feminist arguments about the economy—that is claims about domestic and caring labor and its necessity for capitalism. I address who undertakes caring labor, in what social relations, and in which spaces in Western economies, where deindustrialization and the rise of service-dominated employment have been associated with a transformation in the nature of work and the composition of the workforce. I review the ways in which this contemporary economic and employment change has been theorized by economic sociologists and economic geographers, in particular by labor geographers—that part of the discipline to which I feel the greatest connection—suggesting that changes in what is often termed reproductive labor have been relatively neglected at the expense of a focus on immaterial, high-status employment in knowledge-based economies. Through a historical example, I then illustrate the production of difference between women workers in caring jobs in the United Kingdom, arguing that closer attention to the intersection of embodied social attributes adds to explanations of continuity and change in the labor market as well as revealing a legacy of discrimination.

Key words: gender, migration, economic transformation, post-war decades, service employment, caring

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Toward a Dynamic Theory of Global Production Networks by Henry Wai-chung Yeung, Neil M. Coe

Abstract: Global production networks (GPN) are organizational platforms through which actors in different regional and national economies compete and cooperate for a greater share of value creation, transformation, and capture through geographically dispersed economic activity. Existing conceptual frameworks on global value chains (GVC) and what we term GPN 1.0 tend to under-theorize the origins and dynamics of these organizational platforms and to overemphasize their governance typologies (e.g., modular, relational, and captive modes in GVC theory) or analytical categories (e.g., power and embeddedness in GPN 1.0). Building on this expanding literature, our article aims to contribute toward the reframing of existing GPN-GVC debates and the development of a more dynamic theory of global production networks that can better explain the emergence of different firm-specific activities, strategic network effects, and territorial outcomes in the global economy. It is part of a wider initiative—GPN 2.0 in short—that seeks to offer novel theoretical insights into why and how the organization and coordination of global production networks varies significantly within and across different industries, sectors, and economies. Taking an actor-centered focus toward theory development, we tackle a significant gap in existing work by systematically conceptualizing the causal drivers of global production networks in terms of their competitive dynamics (optimizing cost-capability ratios, market imperatives, and financial discipline) and risk environments. These capitalist dynamics are theorized as critical independent variables that shape the four main strategies adopted by economic actors in (re)configuring their global production networks and, ultimately, the developmental outcomes in different industries, regions, and countries.

Key words:global production networks, global value chains, theory, firms, nonfirm actors, competitive dynamics, strategy, economic development

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Positionality Switch: Remapping Resource Communities in Russian Borderlands by Jarmo Kortelainen, Pertti Rannikko

Abstract: This article elaborates on the contested periphery approach and related local models. Some economic geographers argue that the peculiarities of resource peripheries cannot be understood with the help of economic theories designed in economic cores. The contested periphery approach was developed specifically for resource economies and stresses the importance of geographically variable interactions of stakeholder groups that channel broad institutional values (industrialism, regulationism, environmentalism, and aboriginalism) into peripheries. Along with local features, they create local models, and changes in relations occasionally remap the conditions for resource utilization. The contested periphery approach is based on comparisons between large territorial regions, but we argue that this does not provide sufficient tools to recognize the relationally formed heterogeneity of peripheries. Instead, this article focuses on the changing positionalities of local communities. We introduce the concept of positionality switch to highlight the ways abrupt shifts in the direction of relations alter local positionalities. Empirically, we explore two Russian forestry communities in the Finnish-Russian borderland. Cross-border trade connections and the shifting semipermeability of the boundary have greatly influenced the local model and remapped borderland communities. Reestablished timber export in the 1990s began to create a local model shaped by imported forestry technologies and work organization systems. In the 2000s, higher customs duties for wood and deteriorating transportation links cut off both the cross-border and domestic connections leaving the settlements in limbo. The article concludes by arguing that the contested periphery approach and local models should be localized and supplemented with the concepts of positionality and positionality switch as well as contextually relevant concepts because they help to better understand the particularities and specific relations of each local model.

Key words: positionality, resource peripheries, local models, forestry communities, Russia, borders, postsocialism

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Geographic Effects on Intergenerational Income Mobility by Jonathan T. Rothwell, Douglas S. Massey

Abstract: Research on intergenerational economic mobility often ignores the geographic context of childhood, including neighborhood quality and local purchasing power. We hypothesize that individual variation in intergenerational mobility is partly attributable to regional and neighborhood conditions—most notably access to high-quality schools. Using restricted Panel Study of Income Dynamics and census data, we find that neighborhood income has roughly half the effect on future earnings as parental income. We estimate that lifetime household income would be $635,000 dollars higher if people born into a bottom-quartile neighborhood would have been raised in a top-quartile neighborhood. When incomes are adjusted to regional purchasing power, these effects become even larger. The neighborhood effect is two-thirds as large as the parental income effect, and the lifetime earnings difference increases to $910,000. We test the robustness of these findings to various assumptions and alternative models, and replicate the basic results using aggregated metropolitan-level statistics of intergenerational income elasticities based on millions of Internal Revenue Service records.

Key words: income mobility, neighborhood effects, segregation, intergenerational mobility, regional purchasing power, migration, local prices

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Published by Clark University since 1925.


April 2015

Encore for the Enclave: The Changing Nature of the Industry Enclave with Illustrations from the Mining Industry in Chile
Nicholas A. Phelps, Miguel Atienza, and Martin Arias


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Spatial Competition and Interdependence in Strategic Decisions: Empirical Evidence from Franchising     enhanced article
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The Contribution of Regions to Aggregate Growth in the OECD
Enrique Garcilazo, Joaquim Oliveira Martins




Cultural Gravity Effects among Migrants: A Comparative Analysis of the EU15
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The Financial Secrecy Index: Shedding New Light on the Geography of Secrecy
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Regional Blocks and Imperial Legacies: Mapping the Global Offshore FDI Network
Daniel Haberly, Dariusz Wójcik


Bounded Entrepreneurial Vitality: The Mixed Embeddedness of Female Entrepreneurship
Thilde Langevang, Katherine V. Gough , Paul W. K. Yankson, Robert Osei, and George Owusu




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