Intra- and interregional inequality, divergence and economic development I

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Economic Geography Specialty Group, Population Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Calvert Room, Omni, East
Organizers: Maximilian Buchholz, Harald Bathelt, Michael Storper
Chairs: Peter Dannenberg


Scholarly attention to economic inequality in the social sciences has often focused on individual-level inequalities, and yet, the dynamics of inequality are explicitly geographic in nature. After a century of regional income convergence in the United States, this process has been slowing down since the 1980s (Ganong & Shoag, 2017). Similarly, strong convergence between European regions in the postwar period has given way to divergence since the 1980s (Rosés & Wolf, 2018). Intergenerational social mobility superimposes these processes and adds more complexity. It varies greatly across regions (Chetty et al., 2014) and is highly dependent on localized economic contexts (Goodwin-White, 2016). Altogether, these economic geographies appear related to social factors and to systems of values, attitudes toward difference and perceptions of opportunity that are all created and recreated at the local level (Storper, 2018; Alesina et al., 2018). At the same time as inter-regional convergence came to a halt in the 1980s, poverty within U.S. cities became more spatially concentrated, having lasting effects on the economic outcomes of adolescents from the respective urban quarters (Holloway & Mulherin, 2004). Moreover, the benefits of high-technology employment (Kemeny & Osman, 2018), global FDI linkages (Bathelt & Buchholz, 2018) and international migration (Cooke & Kemeny, 2017), all appear to be distributed in ways that contribute to both inequalities between and within regions.

Geographers have made important contributions to our understanding of intra- and interregional inequality, yet we believe these discussions still need to invoke a broader response in the discipline. And we believe that the conceptual and methodological tools put us in a strong position to go much further to better understand and fight inequality. This set of sessions invites papers that provide new empirical or conceptual perspectives on dynamics of inter- and intra-regional economic inequalities. We welcome papers that consider forces or processes that contribute to both processes, but also those that treat them separately. Papers discussing how dynamics of inequality vary according to gender, race, citizenship status, and other demographic characteristics, or that take historical approaches to spatial inequality are welcome. We hope to stimulate increased attention to the dynamics of inequality, divergence and uneven development in economic geography.


Alesina, A., Stantcheva, S., & Teso, E. (2018). Intergenerational mobility and preferences for redistribution. American Economic Review, 108, 521–554.
Bathelt, H. & Buchholz, M. (2018). Outward Foreign Direct Investments as a Catalyst of Urban-Regional Income Development? Evidence from the United States. SPACES online, 2018-02. Toronto & Heidelberg:
Chetty, R., Hendren, N., Kline, P., & Saez, E. (2014). Where is the land of opportunity? The geography of intergenerational mobility in the United States. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 129, 1553–1623.
Cooke, A., & Kemeny, T. (2017). The economic geography of immigrant diversity: Disparate impacts and new directions. Geography Compass, 11, 1–14.
Ganong, P., & Shoag, D. (2017). Why has regional income convergence in the U.S. declined? Journal of Urban Economics, 102, 76–90.
Goodwin-White, J. (2016). Is social mobility spatial? Characteristics of immigrant metros and second generation outcomes: 1940-1970 and 1970-2000. Population, Space and Place, 22, 807–822.
Holloway, S. R., & Mulherin, S. (2004). The effect of adolescent neighborhood poverty on adult employment. Journal of Urban Affairs, 26, 427–454.
Kemeny, T., & Osman, T. (2018). The wider impacts of high-technology employment: Evidence from U.S. cities. Research Policy. Advance online publication.
Rosés, J. R., & Wolf, N. (2018). Regional Economic Development In Europe, 1900-2010: A Description Of The Patterns. Working Paper 278. London: London School of Economics and Political Science Department of Economic History Working Papers.
Storper, M. (2018). Separate worlds? Explaining the current wave of regional economic polarization. Journal of Economic Geography, 18, 247–270.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Michael Storper*, London School of Economics - London, Andres Rodriguez-Pose, London School of Economics, Can more and more affordable housing lead to more widespread prosperity? A critique of the “housing as opportunity” view and its emerging policy discourses 20 9:55 AM
Presenter Jamie Goodwin-White*, UCLA, Comparative Urban Inequality 20 10:15 AM
Presenter Silje Haus-Reve, University of Stavanger, Abigail Cooke, University at Buffalo, SUNY, Rune Fitjar*, University of Stavanger, Thomas Kemeny, Queen Mary, University of London, Does assimilation shape the economic value of immigrant diversity? 20 10:35 AM
Presenter Dylan Connor*, Arizona State University, Stability and change in the land of opportunity: Geography and intergenerational inequality over the twentieth century 20 10:55 AM
Presenter Harald Bathelt*, University of Toronto, Max Buchholz, University of Toronto, Outward Foreign-Direct Investments as a Catalyst of Urban-Regional Income Development? Evidence from the United States 20 11:15 AM

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