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CEP discussion paper

Can We Learn Anything from Economic Geography Proper?

Abstract This paper considers the ways geographers (proper) and (geographical) economists approach the study of economic geography. It argues that there are two areas where the approach of the latter is more robust than the former. First, formal models both enforce internal consistency and allow one to move from micro to macro behaviour. Second, empirical work tends to be more rigorous, emphasising the importance of getting representative samples, testing whether findings are significant, identifying and testing empirical predictions from theory and dealing with issues of observational equivalence. But any approach can be improved and so the paper also identifies ways in which geographical economists could learn from the direction taken by economic geographers proper.

Henry Overman

October 2003     Paper Number CEPDP0586

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This CEP discussion paper is published under the centre's Trade programme.