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Justice, efficiency and economic geography: should places help one another to develop?

By Michael Storper


What is a 'just' or 'equitable' territorial distribution of resources or economic and social development? As in the other social sciences, the normative dimensions of territorial development - of what would constitute 'just' cities, regions and global patterns of development - cover the process of resource creation and allocation, as well as the geographical (place) and interpersonal (people) outcomes of such processes. A geographical approach to justice and equity must consider the interaction of place distributions and people distributions of income and opportunity. Place and people distributions may conflict with one another. Moreover, different such distributions have different impacts on economic efficiency and thus on aggregate output. This article confronts theories of justice with results in economic geography about the territorial basis of economic efficiency. It then opens up a research agenda on the normative bases of inter-territorial relations and on the possible criteria for redistribution of development resources among territories

Topics: G Geography (General), HC Economic History and Conditions
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1177/0969776410394553
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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