The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

The new economic geography and policy relevance

Martin, Ron and Sunley, Peter (2010) The new economic geography and policy relevance Journal of Economic Geography, 11, (2), pp. 357-369. (doi:10.1093/jeg/lbq042).

Record type: Article


Essentially, there are two ways that formal abstract models like those in new economic geography (NEG) can be used for policy analysis. First, formal models can be manipulated to draw out potential ‘policy implications’. Second, given these theoretically derived implications, such models can be used to analyse specific policy questions. In recent years, both approaches have attracted attention in NEG work. This article assesses this ‘policy turn’ in NEG. It argues that the usefulness of NEG models for policy analysis is constrained by the questionable plausibility and credibility of those models. But at the same time, although proper economic geography can claim to be based much more closely on the observation of real-world phenomena, its methods and explanatory accounts are difficult to use for the sort of counterfactual ‘what if’ type policy analyses found in NEG. Each version of economic geography has epistemological strengths and weaknesses when it comes to policy analysis.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: March 2010
Keywords: new economic geography, model worlds, real policy worlds, proper economic geography


Local EPrints ID: 178701
ISSN: 1468-2702
PURE UUID: 0d371963-909d-4d66-a444-7a3bad3bba21

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 25 Mar 2011 14:35
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 12:04

Export record



Author: Ron Martin
Author: Peter Sunley

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.