Workshop Economic Geography of Long-Run Industrialization

The HINDI research group, in collaboration with the International Institute of Social History (IISH), will be organizing at Thu-Fri 22-23 March 2018 a workshop on the economic geography of long-run industrialization (approx. 1800 – 2010) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The aim of this workshop will be to bring together economists, economic historians, and economic geographers with an academic interest in both the quantitative long-run regional process of industrialization, as well as the empirical and political conclusions one can derive from it. Those interested in attending, are recommended to contact the organizers Bas van Leeuwen and Robin Philips via the contact form.

The Industrial Revolution and its aftermath presented one of the most fascinating topics in the field of economic history. Like a slick of oil, new manufacturing firms spread first over England, followed by Western Europe and eventually the rest of the world. However, it is not clear how and why this process of industrialization differed over time and across regions. Rather, debates continue about topics such as why industrial activity is spatially distributed and what factors drive agglomeration of production. Lack of data has so far inhibited the connection between theory and empirics as well as history and economics, rendering the answer to above questions problematic, even though some interesting empirical studies have emerged. This proposed workshop is thus intended to bring together empirical and theoretical studies in a coherent framework, to explain spatial development in industrialization over the past two centuries.

The central question of this workshop is how and why industrialization spread across regions and over time. To deal with this question, the workshop will be subdivided in five panels. After an “econography” of industrialization dealing with the various models of industrialization and, more importantly, their empirical implications in the opening remarks, panels 1 – 3 of this workshop will deal with specific case studies of regional industrialization over the Eurasian continent. Walking first through the historiography of spatial industrialization, each presenter will cover one particular region during the 19th and 20th century, including various Western, Eurasian and Asian countries. This not only makes it possible to test if existing theories on economic agglomeration can be globally applied, but also contributes to the debates on regional divergence and the role of economic integration and globalization. In panels 4 – 5 the various presentations, partly based on the previous chapters as well as the literature, deal with the question how the various theories can be used in the fields of economic history and economic geography.


Thursday 22 March 2018

10:20 Opening Remarks by Bas van Leeuwen (IISH)
10:30 Panel 1: Regional Industrialization in Western Europe
Sebastian Keibek (Cambridge University) and Leigh Shaw-Taylor (Cambridge University): The regional foundations on which the world’s first industrial nation was built. abstract
Robin Philips (IISH) and Erik Buyst (University of Leuven): Local and regional industrial development in the Low Countries, 1820 – 2010. abstract
Discussant: Ron Boschma (Utrecht University)
12:00 Lunch
13:00 Panel 2: Regional Industrialization in Asia
Xu Yi (Guangxi Normal University / IISH), Bas van Leeuwen (IISH), Lin Wang (Guangxi Normal University) and Zhihua Tang (Guangxi Normal University). Regional industrial development along the Yangtze and Zhujiang rivers, ca. 1914-2004. abstract
Bas van Leeuwen (IISH), Jieli Li (IISH) and Zipeng Zhang (Utrecht University): regional industrialization in the basic metals sector in China (1850-2010).
Jean-Pascal Bassino (University of Lyon), Kyoji Fukao (Hitotsubashi University) and Tokihiko Settsu (Musashi University): The economic geography of Japanese industrialization (1800-2010). abstract
Discussant: Peer Vries (University of Vienna)
15:15 Coffee and Tea Break
15:30 Panel 3: Regional Industrialization in the European Periphery
Stefan Nikolić (University of Groningen) and Leonard Kukić (London School of Economics): Regional industrialization of Yugoslavia in the long-run. abstract
Anna Missiaia (Lund University): Old patterns die Hard: regional aspects of Italian industrialization in the long run. abstract
Erdem Kabadayı (Koç University). Long term regional dynamics of industrialization, from the late Ottoman Empire to the Republic of Turkey in the twentieth century, 1850-2000. abstract
Discussant: Gijs Kessler (IISH)
18:00 Drinks
18:30 Dinner

Friday 23 March 2018

10:15 Panel 4: A Thematic View on Regional Industrialization *
Stijn Ronsse (Ghent University) and Glenn Rayp (Ghent University): The use of the Midelfarth-Knarvik model to study determinants of historical industrial locations. abstract
Robin Philips (IISH), Wouter Ronsijn (Ghent University) and Eric Vanhaute (Ghent University): Shifts from proto-industrialization to industrialization. abstract
Bas van Leeuwen (IISH), Peter Foldvari (University of Amsterdam), Robin Philips (IISH) and Meimei Wang (Utrecht University): Testing for co-location among manufacturing firms using micro-geographic data. abstract
Discussants: Jan Luiten van Zanden (Utrecht University) and Oedzge Atzema (Utrecht University)
12:30 Final Discussion
13:00 Lunch

Please download here the full program of the workshop.

Please download here the full list of abstracts for the workshop presentations.

Please download here the travel instructions.

Please follow this page for the upcoming papers of all workshop presentations.

* The following presenters were unable to attend the workshop:

  • Julio Martinez-Galarraga (University of Valencia) and Daniel Tirado (University of Barcelona): Market integration and economic geography in history: an overview. Please find here the abstract and paper.
  • Patrizio Bianchi (University of Ferrara) and Sandrine Labory (University of Ferrara): Industrial policy for manufacturing revolutions. Please find here the abstract and paper.

** At the request of the authors, the paper is only available on demand (by filling in the contact form of the HINDI website).

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  1. Pingback: Report: Workshop Economic Geography of Industrialization | World Economic History: HINDI

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