Was Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations wrong? Jane Jacobs (1984) thinks so. She claims that cities rather than nations have been the constituent elements of a developing economy since the dawn of civilization through “explosive” import replacement. Cities are transformed through a variety of material, socio-economic and symbolic interventions, manifest amongst others in place brands, to become exports; and these, in turn, finance imports. For example, growth machine theory attributes the role of the capability of business elites to the use of public resources for achieving their own private objectives. In contrast, location theory is concerned with the microeconomics of space, taking input costs and transportation costs of finished goods and services to markets, particularly those with a favorable cost structure, into account as the stimulus of economic growth. On the other hand institutional theory holds that urban and regional economic activities driving growth are embedded in social networks and focus on the interactions between firms rather than within individual firms.
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Frank M. Go
- Palgrave Macmillan UK