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ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY ISSUE: Vol. 92 No. 4 January 2017




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



The Geography of Complex Knowledge

Pierre-Alexandre Balland and David Rigby, Pages 1–23
Abstract |Complete Article | Enhanced Article


Paradoxes of the Border: Labor Shortages and Farmworker Minor Agency in Reworking California’s Strawberry Fields

Julie Guthman, Pages 24–43
Abstract | Complete Article | Enhanced Article


Infrastructure Alliances: Supply-Chain Expansion and Multi-City Growth Coalitions

David Wachsmuth, Pages 44–65
Abstract |Complete Article | Enhanced Article


Innovation in Russia: The Territorial Dimension

Riccardo Crescenzi and Alexander Jaax, Pages 66–88
Abstract | Complete Article | Enhanced Article








The Great Leveler: Capitalism and Competition in the Court of Law, By Brett Christophers
Eric Sheppard, pages 89–90
Read Book Review

Territories of Poverty: Rethinking North and South, Edited by Ananya Roy and Emma Shaw Crane
Lakshman Yapa, pages 91–92
Read Book Review

The Rise and Fall of Urban Economies, By Michael Storper, Tom Kemeny, Naji Makarem, and Taner Osman
Jennifer Clark, pages 93–95
Read Book Review


The Oxford Handbook of Local Competitiveness, Edited by David B. Audretsch, Albert N. Link, and Mary L. Walshok
Godwin Arku, pages 96–98
Read Book Review





2015–2016 Reviewers
pages 99–100


Volume 92 Annual Contents
pages 101–103











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The Geography of Complex Knowledge

Pierre-Alexandre Balland and David Rigby

Abstract: There is consensus among scholars and policy makers that knowledge is one of the key drivers of long-run economic growth. It is also clear from the literature that not all knowledge has the same value. However, too often in economic geography and cognate fields we have been obsessed with counting knowledge inputs and outputs rather than assessing the quality of knowledge produced. In this article we measure the complexity of knowledge, we map the distribution and the evolution of knowledge complexity in US cities, and we explore how the spatial diffusion of knowledge is linked to complexity. Our knowledge complexity index rests on the bimodal network models of Hidalgo and Hausmann. Analysis is based on more than two million patent records from the US Patent and Trademark Office that identify the technological structure of US metropolitan areas in terms of the patent classes in which they are most active between 1975 and 2010. We find that knowledge complexity is unevenly distributed across the United States and that cities with the most complex technological structures are not necessarily those with the highest rates of patenting. Citation data indicate that more complex patents are less likely to be cited than less complex patents when citing and cited patents are located in different metropolitan areas.

Key words: knowledge complexity and flow, cities, patents, network analysis, economic geography, United States

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Paradoxes of the Border: Labor Shortages and Farmworker Minor Agency in Reworking California’s Strawberry Fields

Julie Guthman


Abstract: I examine how strawberry growers’ experiences of a farm labor shortage have led them to attend to plant vigor and the conditions of strawberry harvesting as a labor recruitment strategy. Both allow harvest workers, who work primarily on piece rates, to earn more money per input of time. These were unexpected findings in a larger study in which I examine how California’s strawberry industry is responding to tighter regulatory restrictions for soil fumigants. Drawn from semi-structured interviews with strawberry growers and industry representatives, these data paint a picture of worker capriciousness in an industry in which loyalty has been a major form of labor control. In making the empirical case, I engage with the work of Wells, who wrote extensively about how industry structure and the natural characteristics of the strawberry had coalesced to discipline workers. Noting that her arguments revolved on conditions of labor surplus, I discuss recent changes in labor market conditions, brought about in part by the changed US border and immigration policy, that have given workers a modicum of leverage. Nevertheless, working conditions remain grueling and pay rates not substantially changed, suggesting that growers would prefer to tinker with the technological conditions of production than significantly alter prevailing wages. In noting workers’ apparent effect on the material conditions in which they work, this article contributes to discussions in labor geography on worker agency in shaping economic landscapes at the same time it speaks to the broader constraints farmworkers face in agricultural labor markets.

Key words: strawberry production, California agriculture, farm labor, piece rates, soil fumigation, Miriam Wells, labor geography


Complete Article | Enhanced Article


Infrastructure Alliances: Supply-Chain Expansion and Multi-City Growth Coalitions


David Wachsmuth

Abstract: Recent scholarship has suggested that infrastructure development is fragmenting local urban politics, but I argue that it has had the opposite impact at the multi-city regional scale. New multi-city growth coalitions are currently emerging across the United States, united by a shared interest in supply-chain expansion—the extension of effective supply chains and the intensification of circulatory possibilities in regional transportation networks. In this article I develop a theoretical account of these novel infrastructure alliances, and explore empirical examples across the domains of (1) logistics and trade, and (2) manufacturing and resource extraction supply chains. I conclude by considering possible future trajectories for infrastructure alliances and entrepreneurial urban governance.

Key words: growth coalitions, infrastructure, urban politics, competitive multi-city regionalism, logistics, supply chains, regionalism

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Innovation in Russia: The Territorial Dimension

Riccardo Crescenzi and Alexander Jaax

Abstract: The debate on Russia’s innovation performance has paid little attention to the role of geography. This article addresses this gap by integrating an evolutionary dimension in an augmented regional knowledge production function framework to examine the territorial dynamics of knowledge creation in Russia. The empirical analysis identifies a strong link between regional research and development (R&D) expenditure and patenting performance. However, R&D appears inadequately connected to regional human capital. Conversely, multinational enterprises (MNEs) play a fundamental role as global knowledge pipelines. The incorporation of historic variables reveals that the Russian case is a striking example of long-term path dependency in regional patterns of knowledge generation. Endowment with Soviet-founded science cities remains a strong predictor of current patenting. However, current innovation drivers and policies also concur to enhance (or hinder) innovation performance in all regions. The alignment of regional innovation efforts, exposure to localized knowledge flows and injections of foreign knowledge channeled by MNEs make path renewal and path creation possible, opening new windows of locational opportunity.

Key words: innovation, R&D, evolutionary economic geography, regions, BRICS, Russia

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Published by Clark University since 1925.


March 2017

Psychology and the Geography of Innovation

Neil Lee


Location Choices of Chinese Multinationals in Europe: The Role of Overseas Communities

Bas Karreman, Martijn J. Burger and Frank G. van Oort


From Futures Markets to the Farm Gate: A Study of Price Formation along Tanzania’s Coffee Commodity Chain

Hannah K. Bargawi and Susan A. Newman


The Matching of STEM Degree Holders with STEM Occupations in Large Metropolitan Labor Markets in the United States

Richard Wright, Mark Ellis and Matthew Townley




Earth Incorporated: Centralization and Variegation in the Global Company Network

Daniel Haberly and Dariusz Wójcik


Knowledge Base Combinations and Innovation Performance in Swedish Regions

Markus Grillitsch, Roman Martin and Martin Srholec


Combinatorial Knowledge Bases: An Integrative and Dynamic Approach to Innovation Studies
Jesper Manniche, Jerker Moodysson and Stefania Testa



Exogenously Led and Policy-Supported New Path Development in Peripheral Regions: Analytical and Synthetic Routes

Arne Isaksen and Michaela Trippl


Remaking Mortgage Markets by Remaking Mortgages: U.S. Housing Finance after the Crisis

Philip Ashton and Brett Christophers





Making Human Geography By Kevin R. Cox

Mark Boyle


Nature, Choice and Social Power By Erica Schoenberger

Trevor J. Barnes


Fast Policy: Experimental Statecraft at the Thresholds of Neoliberalism By Jamie Peck and Nik Theodore

I-Chun Catherine Chang


Global Production Networks. Theorizing Economic Development in an Interconnected World By Neil M. Coe and Henry Wai-Chung Yeung

Sabine Dörry


Migrant Women's Voices Talking About Life and Work in the UK Since 1945 By Linda McDowell

Rosie Cox


The Political Origins of Inequality: Why a More Equal World Is Better for Us All By Simon Reid-Henry

Jamie Goodwin-White



Assembling Export Markets: The Making and Unmaking of Global Food Connections in
West Africa By Stefan Ouma

Global Displacements: The Making of Uneven Development in the Caribbean By Marion Werner

Christian Berndt





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