GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2008, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (1): 75-84.doi: 10.11821/yj2008010008

• Economy and Regional Development • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Nine principles in economic geography

LIANG Jin-she   

  1. School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2007-07-03 Revised:2007-10-22 Online:2008-01-25 Published:2008-01-25
  • Supported by:



Whether some basic principles exist or not that could guide those who are engaged in studying economic geography is a major concern. The author of the paper holds a positive attitude and tries to conclude them as follows. The first is that people would be faced with making location choices, which implies that economic geographers must design possible selected places to reflect the cost of location decision-making. The second is that making location choices is spatial optimizations and competitions for space, which shows basic behavioral criterion of economic actor. Why would people like to select locations? The third gives an answer,that is, there are differences in space, which come from both the nature and the social-economic system. And the impacts of the latter may strengthen or weaken difference from the former. Two principles followed are that economic factors have different sensitivities to distance, and that economic systems have the substituting functions to adjust inputs for distance and for others, which voice the key points about effects of distance. The spatial market principle and spatial critical point principle, the sixth and the seventh, are related to the analytic methods in economic geography. The eighth is that local or regional competitiveness depends on its advantages of production and service cost and location advantage. The last is the location policy principle, which shows why and how to formulate regional policies. The author deems that the conclusion of nine principles helps the teachers and students to get a better understanding of the key points in economic geography for the teachers and students. And it is also in favor of establishing common language and building common acknowledged theories in the area of academic research of economic geography. In addition, in the area of applied research of economic geography, it is beneficial for researchers to find and choose important and essential economic geography variables.

Key words: economic geography, basic principles, teaching, academic research, applied research