Global Economy module: Conceptual Framework
AAG Center for Global Geography Education

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Learning Objectives


By completing this conceptual framework, you will be able to:


1.   Use geographic concepts to interpret economic activities and relationships at different scales,

2.   Discuss the role of technology change in the development of the global economy,

3.   Explain how trade between nations has created networks of economic interdependence, and

4. Use maps to analyze regional patterns of production and consumption.




Economic activities around the world are deeply integrated and interconnected in a global system of trade, production, and consumption.  Global markets have developed as a result of liberal trade policies that have reshaped where and how goods and services are produced, and who consumes them.  


In this conceptual framework for the Global Economy module, you will be introduced to geographic concepts and theories that can help you understand how economic activities are organized spatially and integrated across scales from the local to the global, and what this means for people, places, and environments in different regions of the world.


Geographers study the spatial activities of economies at different scales.  In the global economy, these activities include patterns of international trade, the flow of information through communication networks, regional flows of capital and resources, and the spatial distribution of labor.  Increasingly, economic processes and patterns are affected by globalization – a process by which "events, activities, and decisions in one part of the world can have significant consequences for communities in distant parts of the globe" (Haggett, 2001).


One way to begin to understand the global economy is to classify the activities that produce goods and services that are consumed by people worldwide. These activities can be divided into four sectors:


1. Primary sector activities are concerned with the direct extraction of materials from the earth's surface, generally through agriculture, mining, fishing, and forestry.

2. Secondary sector activities include industries that process, transform, and assemble raw materials into products like cars, computers, and clothing.

3. Tertiary sector activities involve the provision of goods and services to people in exchange for payment.  Examples of service providers include banks, universities, and retail shops. 

4. Finally, there is a quaternary sector of activities related to the management of data and information.


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Suggested citation: Muñiz-Solari, O., Zunino, H., Le Heron, R., Lewis, N., Hayward, D., Tamasy, C., and Stringer, C. 2010. Global Economy conceptual framework: How are economic activities organized in different parts of the world? In Solem, M., Klein, P., Muñiz-Solari, O., and Ray, W., eds., AAG Center for Global Geography Education. Available from

Photos courtesy of the GeoCube project.

Geographic Dimensions of the Global Economy


According to Dicken (2007), the global economy can be conceived as horizontal areas of investment, production and consumption that have become vertically integrated across extensive geographical scales (from local to regional to territorial to global) (Figure 1). In this system, geographic patterns of economic investment, production, and consumption are shaped by state governments as well as by supranational (e.g., World Trade Organization) and regional (e.g., NAFTA) financial groupings through environmental regulations, taxes, labor laws, and other policies.


Figure 1: Horizontal and vertical dimensions of the global economy.

Source: based, in part, on material in Dicken (2007)


As you continue reading this conceptual framework, keep in mind Sayer and Walker's (1992) distinction between industries, enterprises, and workplaces. Industry describes a section of the economy associated with the exploitation of a renewable or non-renewable resource; it can also refer to any of a large variety of services (e.g., health care, transportation, finance, insurance). An enterprise – a company, firm or corporation – is the locus of economic decision-making and control. Enterprises own resources, employ workers, organize production, and make contracts. Enterprises can be as large as Transnational Corporations (TNCs) or as small as a local store. Workplaces are factories, farms, shops, offices, and all kinds of mobile and temporary sites. They are places of production where labor is organized into some sort of productive activity. A dairy factory, for example, requires substantial investment in the form of equipment and buildings, the hiring of a sizable workforce, and the purchase of raw materials and a range of other consumable items.


Thinking Spatially Activity 1: Where do your clothes come from?


In this activity, your class will gather geographic information about the clothes you are wearing.  Using this information, you will discern some of the patterns of production, marketing, and consumption formed in the contemporary global economic system.


You can complete this activity using the following steps:


Step 1 – Examine the manufacturing labels on one or more articles of clothing worn by your classmates.  Compile a list of the countries where the garments were manufactured (producer countries), and the distance between the producer and the market where the article of clothing was sold (consumer countries).  Organize your data in a table with four columns and a separate row for each article of clothing.


For example, suppose you purchased the T-shirt you are wearing at a boutique in Berlin.  The manufacturing label on the shirt says "Made in Bulgaria".  This information can be organized in a table like this:


Article of Clothing


Location of the plant that manufactured the article of clothing (producer country)


Location of the market where product was purchased (consumer country)


Approximate distance between producer and market





Berlin, Germany

1,318 km (819 miles)


To determine the distance between two locations, you can use this website developed by the US Department of Agriculture. Choose any city from the menu provided on the website to obtain a basic estimate of the "Great Circle" distance between the producer and market countries.  In this example, the distance shown refers to the "Great Circle" distance between Sophia, Bulgaria and Berlin, Germany.  If your city does not appear on the list, choose the nearest location.


Step 2 – Next, use the data in the tables created by your class to create a map showing the locations of the producer and consumer countries.  Mark the locations of the producer and consumer countries on a world outline map.


Step 3 - As a class, share your tables and discuss the following questions:


(a)    Describe the economic characteristics of the producer and consumer countries that manufacture the clothing worn by your class.  In what ways are the producer countries economically and geographically similar to or different from the countries where the clothing was marketed and purchased?  For example, would you describe the producer countries in your tables and maps as highly developed, industrial, or technology-rich economies where workers are paid relatively high wages?  Which countries could be described as developing economies where workers are paid relatively low wages?  Are producer and markets located in the same geographical area or region (e.g., are clothes produced in Germany mostly sold in Germany)?


(b)    What general impressions do you have about the global economy based on the findings of the international clothing survey conducted by your class?  What questions would you like to have answered to determine whether these early impressions are accurate?


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Economies of Scale


So far we have used the term scale in a geographical context (i.e., a concept that describes the size of an area depicted on a map or a spatial unit of analysis).


For economists, "scale" refers to the size of production; hence, we may describe a factory as being "large scale", or an industry as being characterized by large-scale production.  In this use of the term, scale is an attribute of workplaces or enterprises, and one of the most powerful of all economic principles is that of economies of scale.


The principle of economies of scale is often illustrated using graphs such as Figure 2, which portrays a relationship between average costs of production and scale of production. Economies of scale is based on the long-run average cost (LRAC) curve, which is derived from the short-run average cost (SRAC) curves representing different industrial plant sizes. 


Figure 2: SRAC (Q1 to Q7) for different plant sizes showing economies of large-scale production.

Source: Adapted based on material in Martin (2010)


The possibility of obtaining lower production costs (efficiencies) for any industry becomes an imperative that will influence the strategic decisions of every enterprise.  We can assume that the most efficient workplace will be the one operating at the minimum efficient scale of production – that is, the minimum point on the average cost line.  It is, therefore, reasonable to expect that enterprises will build larger workplaces (factories) in order to produce products more cheaply than their competitors.  Unless the demand for those products is increasing markedly, the primary effect of this in an industry will be a reduction of the total number of workplaces because fewer will be needed to produce the same number of products.  This will come about as the smaller factories close either because they are too costly, or because enterprises merge and close down the smallest factories to consolidate production in larger ones. Thus, the primary geographic outcome of economies of scale is fewer workplaces in locations, each serving larger market areas.  A direct consequence is that some communities may lose factories while others will host larger ones that increasingly dominate local employment, and some regions (or countries) may host workplaces serving large, international markets.


Labor and capital work in a close, mutual relationship that is sometimes characterized by a succession of conflicts over control of the production process and labor conditions. Clark (1981) points out that spatial decentralization of production and the structure of labor could be seen as an intended bargaining strategy of a company to monitor and manage the power of labor and fortify the weight of capital. On the other hand, private investment is tied to a local culture in which labor has been built in intimate relation with the historical evolution of local communities (Massey, 1984). The social relations of different actors, both unskilled workers and skilled professionals, must be taken into account to understand that relational production networks tend to develop within the limits of some local communities (Storper and Walker, 1989).


Technological change can have profound effects on an industry by enabling further and deeper economies of scale.  Historically, most industries have experienced the emergence of larger and more efficient workplaces. Organizational technologies, telecommunications, transportation, and global financial systems have spurred the growth of large enterprises. These enterprises operate over great distances and employ large numbers of people in numerous dispersed locations. Thus, economies of scale may be achieved by enterprises quite separately from actual workplaces. In the case studies featured in this module, the growth of Fonterra in the dairy industry and wine industry giants such as Constellation Brands and Pernod Ricard owe much to the scale efficiencies in their capacities as enterprises as they do to the specific sizes of their workplaces.


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Competitive Advantage and Industrial Location1


The formation, expansion, or contraction of a given industry depends on decisions made by enterprises.  Indeed, enterprises are profit driven and regularly evaluate their activities in terms of production costs and marketing strategies (e.g., "Which is the most profitable way to distribute and sell a particular good or service?" "How can we get our product to the market at a lower price than our competitors?"). 


Today, decisions made by many enterprise -- especially those known as transnational corporations -- must take into account global and local conditions such as the existing balance between supply and demand, the cost of credit, expected return rates (profits), labor costs, and overall production costs at a given location or in multiple locations.


How do enterprises in different industries decide where to locate their firms and manufacturing plants? In some cases, it is purely an idiosyncratic decision, related to the chief executive's preferences or where a family business was started. More often than not, however, it is a carefully thought out decision that involves the consideration of numerous factors all related to how to best generate competitive advantage.


Michael Porter proposed a Theory of Competitive Advantage (1990) that views factor conditions, demand conditions, related and supporting industries, and firm structure, strategy, and rivalry as being key components of a firm's ability to develop competitive advantage. Firms that amass more favorable conditions in each of these areas are more likely to have competitive advantage. Additionally, factors such as government regulations and chance weigh on the ability of the firm to achieve competitive advantage. Without competitive advantage, it will be difficult for the firm or industry to be successful in the long term.


Explore Porter's Theory of Competitive advantage by clicking in the "Hot Spot Explore" icon below.  


 Hyperlink to Hot Spot Activity 


Pause and Reflect 1:

What arguments would you make in favor of attracting a transnational corporation to your city?

What concerns do you think some people would have about this, and why?



1Competitive Advantage and Industrial Location text, and Hot Spot graphic, by Dawn M. Drake.


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The Importance of Place in the Global Economy


Geographers are interested in the effects of trade policies promoting economic liberalization on local economies as well as how the conditions and activities in local places shape the processes of the global economy.  Not only economic factors play a role in the decisions made by a particular enterprise. Non-economic factors – those that cannot be directly measured nor incorporated in the production cost – can also play a major role.


Indeed, economic activity is socially and culturally situated in places. These factors include, but are not limited to: business climate, political environment, educational attainment of the population, governmental competence, quality of life, and existing social capital. If a firm has similar production costs and a rate of capital return in two locations, choosing where to invest might involve an array of considerations such as: where do we encounter a more stable and trustworthy political system? Where is the firm more likely to find more skilled and responsible workers? What is the quality of life in each location?


As you may have guessed from reading about competitive advantage earlier, Porter's theory is inherently geographic. Factor conditions, demand conditions, related and supporting industries, and even firm structure, strategy, and rivalry all happen in a place. The government and chance circumstances of that place then also can impact the firm or industry. For that reason, it is not surprising that one of the applications of Porter's research has been the development of industry clusters to drive economic development and competitive advantage.


Think about it for a moment: Are there not places we automatically associate with the types of industry located there?. Detroit and automobiles, Hollywood and entertainment, Wall Street and finance, Silicon Valley and computers, and the list goes on. Firms who want to be considered a key player in a certain industry need to locate in these places to access knowledge and resources (Porter 2000b). Economies of scale are developed for a particular industry in a cluster. A labor pool that is properly skilled for the types of jobs necessary will situate itself near the cluster. Firms with similar infrastructure needs can share the costs of development and maintenance (Porter 2000a). All of this allows firms to reduce their fixed costs and increase their competitive advantage.


Think about it in more simple term:. You want to open a lemonade stand. Your neighbor has an ice tea stand. If the two of you locate near to each other, you can share the costs of supplying both stands with water and other raw materials that are necessary to manufacture the final product. Employees who have been trained to work in the ice tea stand are just as qualified to work in the lemonade stand, so you do not need to search elsewhere for labor. Perhaps the two stands can then draw in a related business, like a cookie stand to complement your services and make the cluster more attractive to sophisticated consumers seeking a variety of products and therefore all the businesses will be more competitive.


Social capital has become an important concept to assess the importance of clustering. According to Putnam (1993), social capital refers to the collective value of all "social networks" and the inclinations that arise from these networks to do things for each other. Social capital is a key component to building and maintaining democracy and free markets because these social and cultural relations serve to reduce uncertainty among local economic actors by providing tacit or collective knowledge, and by encouraging confidence and risk sharing.  Amin and Thrift (1992) have further developed this line of thought in their concept of institutional thickness. 


Some economic theorists are skeptical of the importance of intangible factors such as social capital in a place, arguing the focus on a place's culture and social networks is a distraction from the "production of things" in those places (Harvey, 2000; Storper, 2001).   In any case, we live in a world that is constantly remaking itself.  Enterprises are in a constant struggle to find new frontiers for investment, while at the same time abandoning other locations that have proven too costly or unprofitable (Harvey 1982, 1990).


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The Global Economy and Interdependence


The global economy is nowadays a very complex system linking people and places through the trade and flow of goods, services, and information. Since the 1950s, the scope and reach of national economies expanded, leading to an increase in the number of exports produced for trade.


There are several elements that are responsible for the expansion of the global economy during the past several decades: new information technologies, reduction of transportation costs, the formation of economic blocs such as the North American Free Trade Association (NAFTA), and the reforms implemented by states and financial organizations in the 1980s aimed at liberalizing the world economy.


The importance, extent, and sheer economic scale of these spatial changes, most notably during the 1970s and 1980s, took many governments and industrial enterprises by surprise.  Many governments struggled to react in the face of the industrial and labor relocations that took place and to recognize that the foundations of the new economy were no longer locally or nationally based, but were now global.  Likewise, private firms had to adapt by restructuring their production systems to consider the most effective and efficient means of doing business in a global market.


One of the hallmark characteristics of the global economy is the concept of interdependence.  Economic globalization is linking places around the world through activities such as production, trade, and consumption.  As national economies become increasingly integrated through global trade, the economic growth of any given nation becomes increasingly dependent upon the economic welfare of its trade partners.  Activities such as the choice of clothes you buy have a direct impact on the lives of people working in the nations that produce those goods.  As Giddens (1990) put it, we now live in a world characterized by an "intensification of worldwide social relations (linking) distant realities in such a way that local events are shaped by events occurring many miles away, and vice versa".


With globalization, competition occurs between nations having different standards for worker pay, health insurance, and labor regulations.  Corporations are able to benefit from lower labor costs found in developing regions, thanks to free-trade agreements and a new international division of labor.  A worker in a high-wage country is thus increasingly struggling in the face of competition from workers in low-wage countries.  Entire sectors of employment in developed countries are now subject to this growing international competition, and unemployment has crippled many localities. The outcome has been an international division of labor in all sectors of the economy.  In particular, manufacturing is increasingly being contracted out to lower-cost locations, which are often found in developing countries with no minimum wage and few environmental regulations.


A good example of international division of labor can be found in the clothes-making industry. What was once a staple industry in most developed Western economies has now been relocated to developing countries in Central America, Eastern Europe, North Africa, Asia, and elsewhere.  This change has prompted some observers to ask questions that lie at the heart of the globalization debate: Are large retailers in the United States and Europe exploiting workers who are paid low wages in some developing regions?  Is globalization placing developing countries on a road to a more advanced economy that will pay higher wages in the future?


Thinking Spatially Activity 2 – How does global interdependence affect people and places?


In this activity, you will explore the concept of interdependence by examining how some workers in the textile industry are affected by and participate in the global economy.  The activity explores how many countries attempt to develop their economies by creating export-processing zones to attract

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and manufacturing industries.  Your will also learn what life is like for many workers who are employed by textile companies located within these export-processing zones. 


Step 1 – Click the frame below to view an interactive presentation on export processing zones.  The presentation illustrates export-processing zones in Indonesia and explains how these zones are helping Indonesia develop the secondary (manufacturing) sector of its economy. To start the presentation, simply click the screen. You can advance through the presentation by clicking anywhere on the screen, or by moving your pointer to the left side to navigate a table of contents. (Note: On the table of contents, ignore the buttons for Related Units and Exit to Main Menu. The Shockwave plugin for your browser is required to view the presentation. The plugin can be downloaded at no cost from ). Once the plugin is installed, you may have to click to choose to allow active content or follow the browser directions to activate the active content).









Step 2 Read the "Export Zones Narrative" about the life of a young woman named Nok, who works in an export-processing zone located in Bangkok, Thailand.  As you read, think about the following questions:

(a) Who is Nok and what does she do?

(b) What are three pieces of evidence from the reading that describe advantages of living in the city and working in an export zone?

(c) What are three pieces of evidence from the reading that describe problems involved with living in the city and working in an export zone?



Pause and Reflect 2:

Consider the advantages and disadvantages of export processing zones for workers like Nok and for the economies of countries such as Indonesia and Thailand.  Overall, do you think the Export Zone has improved or detracted from the quality of life in these countries?  Do you think it's a good idea for Indonesia and Thailand to set up tax-free export processing zones to attract foreign firms, even if it means losing tax revenue?


Recall the first Thinking Spatially activity that you completed -- it is possible that the clothing you are currently wearing was produced in an export-processing zone such as the one where Nok works.  Would you knowingly purchase clothing that was made in an export-processing zone in the future?  Why or why not?


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Global Value Chains


A powerful way to analyze the global economy – and especially global industries – is through the use of the global value chains perspective. In this approach, industries are described as a sequence of discrete stages of production, or nodes. Products move between these nodes, each representing the sequential conversion of raw materials into final goods for consumption. These nodes and flows are the basic building blocks of the global value chains framework (Figure 3).


Figure 3: Networks and flows of products and services in a global value chain.

Source: based, in part, on material in Dicken (2007) and Rodrigue, Comtois and Slack (2009)



The value-chain sequence from raw materials through the various, distinct stages of procurement, transformation, marketing, distribution and sales may be applied to any industry. While nodes describe logical stages in an industry, they tend to have distinct geographic properties and may be quite different from other nodes in the same industry. Furthermore, each node has a different set of technologies and labor requirements, and often a distinctive type of enterprise. Thus the chain describes an industry's technology, its enterprises, its workplaces and its geographies.


Foreign direct investment (FDI) adds to the complexity of industry value chains. Dicken (2007, 36) explains the two types of FDI as: "when a firm from one country buys a controlling investment in a firm in another country, or where a firm sets up a branch or subsidiary in another country." Albuquerque et al. (2003, 2) emphasize that "foreign direct investment is the fastest growing form of international capital flows and the most important form of private international financing for emerging market economies."  Inward flows of FDI are particularly important in the mining sectors of less economically developed countries. However, FDI are also concentrated in some other sectors of the economy.


An Example of FDI in the Global Economy

Johnson & Johnson, USA

"The most significant reconfiguration of facilities in the Company's history," (J&J 1998 Annual Report, pp. 1) could only have made sense in a more integrated world. According to Johnson and Johnson (J&J), the worldwide decrease in transportation costs and lowering of trade barriers made production in several countries economically infeasible. Therefore, J&J's new strategy was to move production from a local to a regional configuration, taking advantage of scale economies and low transportation costs. Clearly, the decrease in transportation costs is due to worldwide technological improvements. As for the worldwide movement to lower tariffs, we argue that it too is driven by global factors. Perhaps the most important of these factors is the increased belief (resulting from advances in economic science) that lowering tariffs is a necessary condition to bolster growth. Of course, the decision of which countries to abandon must nevertheless be confronted with local factors that relate to geography, labor costs, tax benefits, and so on.

(Albuquerque et al. 2003, 30-31)


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The "New" Economic Geography of Globalization


According to Ritzer (2007), globalization theory implies a shift away from a focus on the nation-state, and towards a concern with transnational processes such as global "networks" and global "flows". Globalization can be thought of as the worldwide diffusion of practices, expansion of cultural relations across continents, organization of social life on a global scale, and growth of a shared global consciousness (Lechner, 2005).


Although "globalization" is not synonymous with "global economy", the two concepts are related. In particular, a lot of attention has been placed on the relationship between globalization and a variety of social problems like poverty, economic inequality, environmental degradation, and consumerism, among others. In this context "anti-globalization" protests in opposition to multi-national corporations and the powers exercised through trade agreements has emerged, as exemplified by the anti-World Trade Organization (WTO) protests in Seattle in 1999. 


Globalization is implicated in the generation of a new "geography of centrality" that is reshaping traditional divides of the world between the rich developed countries and poor underdeveloped countries (Sassen 1994, 2004). Researchers have identified the emergence of new global hierarchies of cities (Beaverstock, Smith and Taylor 1999). For example, the Globalization and World City Study Group and Network (GaWC) re-published their roster of leading world cities (e.g., London, New York, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Milan, Singapore, Chicago, Paris) with new indicators identifying these cities as the most influential urban centers over global flows of products, services, and information (Taylor 2004, 2005, 2009). World cities such as these have become centers of power in the global economy (Friedmann 1986; Sassen 2001; Taylor, Ni, Derudder, et al. 2010).


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This conceptual framework for the Global Economy module introduced you to some of the ideas and theories that geographers use to interpret the spatial organization of the global economy. As you proceed to the module's case studies, you will examine two of the main forces of the global economy – international trade and multinational corporations – and consider evidence of the global economy's impacts on human developments and natural environments. 


Levels of economic development and human welfare can vary greatly between countries, ranging from advanced economies with high standards of living to developing countries where the basic needs of the majority of the population are not being met. Understanding the reasons for this disparity lies at the heart of economic geography.  Some scholars believe that economic globalization benefits everyone by expanding markets, promoting efficiency in production, creating jobs, and lowering the prices of goods.  Other scholars disagree with that premise, and argue that economic globalization is creating a world in which wealth and power is heavily concentrated in a few privileged regions and also in the hands of a few individuals.  These issues will be analyzed in greater detail as you proceed through the case studies. 


For a preview of the case studies, continue on to the next page.


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 Global Economy Case Studies


The Global Economy module currently offers four geographical case studies built on the ideas and theories presented in this conceptual framework:


1. Case study: How does the dairy industry operate in the global economy? The story of the dairy industry in New Zealand demonstrates how industrial restructuring, state regulations, and transnational corporations shape patterns of economic globalization. Beginning with New Zealand's colonial history, this case study illustrates the importance of the dairy industry to the New Zealand economy and its emergence in the global economy.


2. Case study: How does wine reach the global market? Wine has a long history as a commodity in international trade. In recent decades, Chile's wine industry has transformed into a major force in the world market. This case study examines how the geographic characteristics of the Chilean wine industry have changed over time, and explains the factors responsible for the high quality and competitiveness of Chilean wine in the international marketplace.


3. Case study: What is the impact of foreign direct investment on the mining industry? Economic liberalization policies and global market integration have opened up mining operations in Central and South America to the influence of foreign direct investment (FDI). Extractive industries account for the bulk of inward FDI of many low-income, mineral-rich countries (UNCTAD, 2007a). In turn, many transnational corporations (TNCs) have established large-scale mining operations in Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Argentina, and other countries. This case study explores the details of these developments and their impact on people and natural environments.


4. Case study: Where are new forms of manufacturing promoting economic development? The machine tool industry is an important indicator of a national economy's manufacturing strength. This case study investigates global patterns of machine tool production, consumption, and trade. Relationships among partial clustering, downriver industries, and regional economic development provide the basis for understanding the machine tool industry in the global economy.


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Albuquerque, R., Loayza, N. and Servén, L. 2003. World market integration through the lens of foreign direct investors. The World Bank Development Research Group, Policy Research Working Paper 3060. Available from: (last accessed 22 September 2010).

Alchian, A. 1950. Uncertainty, evolution, and economic theory. Journal of Political Economy 58(3): 211-221.

Amin, A. and Thrift, N. 1992. Globalization, institutions, and regional development in Europe. New York: Oxford.

Beaverstock, J. V., Smith, R. G. and Taylor, P. J. 1999. A roster of world cities. Cities 16(6): 445-458.

Clark, G. 1981. The employment relation and spatial division of labor: A hypothesis. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 71(13): 412-424.

Dicken, P. 2007. Global shift: Mapping the changing contours of the world economy. New York: The Guilford Press.

Friedmann, J. 1986. The world city hypothesis. Development and Change 17: 69-84.

Haggett, P. 2001. Geography: A global synthesis. New York: Prentice Hall.

Harvey, D. 1982. The limits of capital. Oxford: Blackwell.

_____. 2000. Spaces of hope. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Kobrin, S. J. 1987. Testing the bargaining hypothesis in the manufacturing sector in developing countries. International Organization41: 609-638.

Lechner, F. 2005. Globalization. In: Ritzer, G. (ed.), Encyclopedia of social theory, p. 330-333. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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Massey, D. 1984. Spatial divisions of labour: Social structures and the geography of production. London: Macmillan.

Porter, M. E. 1990. The competitive advantage of nations. New York: Free Press.

_____. 2000a. Locations, Clusters, and Company Strategy. In Clark, G. L., Feldman, M. P. and Gertler, M. S. (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Economic Geography. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

_____. 2000b. Location, competition, and economic development: Local clusters in a global economy. Economic Development Quarterly 14: 15-34.

Porter, M. and Stern, S. 2001. Innovation: Location matters. MIT Sloan Management Review 42(4): 28-36.

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Ritzer, G. 2007. The globalization of noting. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.

Rodrigue, J. P., Comtois, C. and Slack, B. 2009. The geography of transport system. New York: Routledge.

Sayer, A. and Walker, R. 1992. The new social economy: Reworking the division of labor. Cambridge: Blackwell.

Sassen, S. 1994. Cities in the world economy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forges Press.

_____. 2001. The global city: New York, London, Tokyo. Princeton, NY: Princeton University Press.

_____. 2004. Going beyond the national state in the USA: The politics of minoritized groups in global cities. Diogenes51(3): 59-65.

Storper, M. 2001. The poverty of radical theory today: From the false promises of Marxism to the mirage of the cultural turn. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 25: 155-179.

Storper, M. and Walker, R. 1989. The capitalist imperative: Territory, technology and industrial growth. Oxford: Blackwell.

Taylor, P. J. 2004. World city network: A global urban analysis. London: Rutledge.

_____. 2005. Leading world cities: Empirical evaluation of urban nodes in multiple networks. Urban Studies 42: 1593-1608.

_____. 2009. Urban economics in Thrall to Christaller: A misguided search for city hierarchies in external urban relations. Environmental and Planning A 41: 2550-2555.

Taylor, J. P., Ni, P., Derudder, B., Hoyler, M., Huang, J., Lu, F., Pain, K., Witlox, F., Yang, X., Bassens, D. and Shen, W. 2010. Measuring the world city network: New results and developments, GaWC Research Bulletin 300. Available from: (last accessed 22 September 2010).

Thompson, A. A., Jr. 1973. Economics of the firm: Theory and practice. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.


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