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Chapter 12: Economic Geography

Chapter 12: Economic Geography . Developed by Joe Naumann. Economic systems are an important part of any culture. Every society (culture) must answer the basic economic questions : What to produce How to produce it Who will get what is produced Cultural influences on the economic system

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Chapter 12: Economic Geography

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  1. Chapter 12: Economic Geography Developed by Joe Naumann

  2. Economic systems are an important part of any culture • Every society (culture) must answer the basic economic questions: • What to produce • How to produce it • Who will get what is produced • Cultural influences on the economic system • World view of the culture • Technological level of the culture • Political structure of the culture

  3. Economic system cont. • Non-cultural influences • Relative location & accessibility • Topography & Climate • Resources available from the environment • Factors of production in all economic systems • Land – real estate and natural resources – raw materials • Labor – mental and physical efforts applied to “land” and “capital” to facilitate production • Management or entrepreneurship – that segment of labor which organizes land, capital, and the other segment of labor to produce goods and services • Capital – the tools and facilities needed for production

  4. It begins with physical place • What does nature provide that is useful? • Elements of physical place with economic significance: • Climate and flora and fauna • Topography: landforms • Soil • Rivers (nature and flow) OR lack of rivers • Mineral deposits • World View may influence both what and how elements are used in the society

  5. It continues with relative location • Peripheral or central location? • Accessibility? Major world trade lanes Mongolia – rather inaccessible Western Europe -- centrality Australia (not seen) – peripheral

  6. Location Factors for Firms &. . . • Many factors influence locational decisions of firms, individuals, governments, etc.

  7. Technology & the Economy • Technology will influence the range of possible uses of economic elements • “Nature, despite the limitations with which it hedges human initiative and enterprise, is not only very diverse but also remarkably malleable.” W. Gordon East The Geography Behind History • In the interplay between humans and environmental conditions, humans are the “choosers.” Therefore, human choices become extremely meaningful.

  8. Balanced Economic Approach • Governments & firms often consider only what can be quantified in dollars and discount other, difficult to quantify, factors. • The significance of the 4 laws of ecology must be factored in • Some “costs” are difficult to quantify, but must not be discounted because of that. • Human & social costs are important

  9. Early Cradles of Civilization: Economic Factors • Productive soil to support agriculture • Adequate access to water: rainfall and/or rivers • Transportation – domesticated animals & rivers • Reasonable temperature range for human activity • Plants and animals that could be domesticated or already had been domesticated • Some metal ores that could be refined to make tools and/or weapons • Location where ideas could mix • Some degree of natural defensibility

  10. Control of fire Stone tools Domestication of plants and animals Metal tools Boats Agriculture Urbanization Rise of the nation-state Renaissance Age of Reason Scientific Revolution Agricultural Revolution Democratic Revolution Industrial Revolution Internal combustion engine Communication Revolution Microelectronics and the computer age Cultural developments with economic implications

  11. Classification Continuum

  12. Classification • Market Economy [capitalism; free-enterprise] • Private ownership of capital & “land” • Minimal government ownership or regulation [laissez-faire capitalism – the impossible extreme of not government involvement in the economy] • Profit-motive is the driving force – the engine that drives the economy – encourages risk-taking. • Competition results in efficiency and the lowest possible consumer prices • Price regulating mechanism is supply and demand

  13. In theory, an ideal, automatic regulating mechanism

  14. Stock Market – supply & demand Many Americans have much of their financial future tied up in the stock market – insurance policies, 401K plans, pension funds, mutual funds, etc.

  15. Classification cont. • Command economy disappearing? • Capital and land can’t be privately owned • Production & pricing planned by agency of govt. • Influenced by political/social agenda of the government • General absence of competition • Consumer interests may have a low priority • Efforts to have a totally command economy have never succeeded: Soviet Union, China, etc. • Tend to be inefficient, producing poor-quality goods • Needed elements of “capitalism” to be sort of successful • Really were “socialist” – much government control.

  16. Destitute couple in Russia

  17. Russian disinfection center Homeless man cleans up

  18. Economic Variations in Russia

  19. Homeless in Russia • Source of political instability – this condition didn’t exist under communism.

  20. Traditional Economy • Non-industrial • Basic economic questions answered by doing what is “customary” • Generally opposed to risk-taking behaviors • Private ownership of capital • Land may be privately owned, but often is considered the property of the group – the tribe. • No country today has this economy, but there may be areas within developing countries where this is the type of economic system

  21. Mixed economy – what all countries really have. • Mostly combination of market & command economies • U.S. – Mixed Market Economy – leans toward the market system, but there is government involvement in the economy • China – Mixed [socialist economy] – overall planning by the government, but some “privatization” has been allowed – joint ventures with capitalist firms from outside China – SEZ’s & unique status of Hong Kong • Brazil – Mixed Market Economy with pockets of traditional economy in the interior

  22. SizesofEconomies

  23. Primary Economic Activities • The simplest, closest to nature, use of earth products • Hunting & gathering • Agriculture and animal husbandry – growing plants and harvesting the fruit and raising animals for sale • Extracting minerals from the earth – various ores, crude oil, natural gas, etc. • Fishing • Lumbering

  24. Primary: Subsistence Agriculture • Extensive Subsistence Agriculture – involves large areas of land and minimal labor input per unit of land. • Nomadic herding • Shifting cultivation (milpa; slash-and-burn; swidden); less than 5% of world’s people engaged today • Intensive Subsistence Agriculture – involves small land holdings and great amounts of labor per unit of land. – Nearly half of the world’s people are engaged in it. • Traditional Chinese agriculture • Production of foodstuffs for sale in rapidly growing urban markets

  25. extensive subsistence agriculture • Slash-and-burn agriculture – a form of crop rotation. Probably the most efficient use of the tropical lands in the long-term. Does not support a large population

  26. Intensive subsistence agriculture • Labor Intensive

  27. Green Revolution • Seed and management improvements– grains. • Increased production–1969-1999–4% increase in grain per capita world-wide • Chinese rice up 2/3 & India’s wheat 100% • Benefits not uniform – not much in Sub-Saharan Africa • Purchase of seeds [hybrids] & fertilizers and insecticides -- may be beyond the most needy’s abilities • Consumer resistance to “engineered” crops • Women benefited less – 1/3 to ½ of farm laborers -- work longer hours & have lower incomes then men farmers – in some cultures women prohibited from land ownership.

  28. Green Revolution • Emphasis on crops not generally grown in Africa south of the Sahara • Greatest need exists in Africa due the large population growth rate

  29. Commercial Agriculture • Often at the expense of domestic food needs • Production Controls • Market forces – supply & demand • Profit motive – i.e. fewer pigs in Jersey County, IL • Competition • Government farm policies – price subsidies, etc. • A Model of Agricultural Location – von Thünen rings • Value of land varies inversely with distance • Highest value agriculture (intensive commercial agriculture) located near urban markets – truck farms • At greater distances, extensive commercial agriculture – wheat fields

  30. von Thünen rings • Distance in transportation miles & mode not point-to-point miles – Calhoun County, IL

  31. Land use affected by “rent” and distance from markets

  32. Commercial Agriculture • Intensive Commercial Agriculture • Higher value land & closer to markets • Use of much machinery, fertilizers, labor, etc. • Dairy farms, truck farms – perishables (refrigerated trucks & railroad cars extended the economic distance from markets) • Livestock-grain farming – farther from markets in U.S. • Extensive Commercial Agriculture • Less expensive land & farther from markets • Wheat farms use expensive capital – combines are expensive so cooperatives may purchase some • Large land areas (low capital output per unit area) • Typified by large wheat farms and livestock ranching

  33. Agriculture: Special Crops • Special circumstances, uaually climatic, make places far from markets intensively developed areas. • Mediterranean agriculture • Year-round warmth and dry summers – irrigation may be needed • Grapes (wine), olives, oranges, figs, some vegetables – these desirable crops grow best in limited climate areas • Plantations – tropical or warm subtropical climates • Usually foreign investment & may divert land from domestic subsistence farming resulting in need to import food • Often labor intensive -- employed alien labor forces • Produced 1 or 2 specialty crops: coffee, tobacco, rubber, bananas, pineapples, sugar cane, tea, jute, cacao

  34. Agriculture: Planned Economies • Subject to government planning and political goals • Collective and state farms – tended to be inefficient • Lack of individual incentive • Emphasis on heavy industry and the military • “Private plots” introduced to improve productivity • Toward privatization – decline of “communism” • 2000, only 5% of Russian of farmland privately operated • China: from collectives to communes to private – 180 mil. new family farms under rent-free leases • Transition from command economies to market economies – difficult in agriculture and industry in countries that had called themselves communist

  35. Percent labor force in agriculture

  36. Other Primary Activities • Fishing and Forestry – renewable resources • Goal should be maximum sustainable yield • Mining and Quarrying – extracting • Exploiting an accident of nature – no correlation between area of country and quantity of resources • Transportation costs very important for low-value minerals (gravel, limestone, cement, and aggregate) • Nonrenewable resources – oil, coal, natural gas • Reusable resources – like metals (copper, lead, & iron)

  37. Lumbering – primary activity

  38. Mining, etc. • Affected by balance of three factors: quantity available, richness of ore, and distance to markets • Land acquisition and royalty costs may equal the other three • Competition may also be a deciding factor

  39. Trade in Primary Products • Share (%) of world trade is declining • Importance to Developing Economies • Depend on trade for foreign exchange revenue • Pay for needed imports • Source of capital investment • Danger of Commodity Trade Dependence – could be at mercy of fluctuating world markets • Banana & coffee republics of Central America • Exception may be something like oil – OPEC changed the focus of power in that market

  40. Secondary Activities: Manufacturing • Industrial Locational Models • Variable costs have important role in location decisions: transportation charges, labor rates, power costs, plant construction or operation expenses, interest rates of money, raw materials • Seeking to reach a large enough market cheaply enough to produce profits • Alfred Weber – placed much weight on transportation costs

  41. Weber’s model visualized • Rather rigid formula that may not give sufficient weight to factors other than location.

  42. Other Locational Considerations • Transport Characteristics – declining cost factor • Cheapest is by water (rivers don’t go everywhere) • Air is the most expensive per pound • Agglomeration Economies • Industrial development tends to attract more • Parts suppliers – former Carter Carburetor • Complementary industries – tire manufacture near auto – FEDEX, UPS, car rentals, & hotels near major airports • Just-in-time approach dispenses with large parts inventories • Flexible production systems not rigid assembly lines

  43. Agglomerating tendencies

  44. Location: Comparative Advantage • Areas tend to specialize in products for which they have the greatest relative advantage • When other countries’ comparative advantages reflect lower labor, land, raw material and capital costs, manufacturing activities may voluntarily relocate from higher-cost market locations – outsourcing by American firms – i.e. components may be made in Mexico and assembled in the U.S.A. • NAFTA – attempt to keep outsourcing from going elsewhere & enlarge the whole market

  45. More on location • Imposed Considerations or other considerations • Land use, zoning & environmental quality restrictions • Government area-development incentives • Local tax abatements & Sale of development bonds • Stability of government & its economic policies • Presence or lack of necessary infrastructure • Multinational corporations play one location against another to get “best” deal for firm (usually reducing country’s benefit). Compete for auto assembly plant

  46. Transnational Corporations (TNCs) • Growing international structure of modern manufacturing • 90% of the largest 100 have headquarters in USA, Japan, or European Union. • Benefits of foreign direct investment doesn’t reach all countries – i.e. little reaches Africa • Most capital flows go to advanced countries • Take advantage of comparative advantage • Often lose their original national identify & have budgets larger than many countries • Very difficult to regulate

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