Volume 43, Number 168,
January-March 2012
Interstate Tourism Development
between Puerto Vallarta and Bahía de Banderas: Mexico
Marco A. Merchand Rojas
THE OPERATIONALIZATION OF THE CONCEPT OF REGION
IN THE CONTEXT OF THE NEW ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY

P. Krugman's (1992, 1995, 1997) theoretical contribution and the book he published with Fujita and Venables (2000) to re-conceptualize the meaning of a region are undoubtedly of great importance and must be taken into account (Merchand, M., 2007). However, Krugman's approach does not consider the state as a factor that can bring about links between businesses. This study proposes that State intervention facilitates or promotes investment that brings about or sets off cumulative processes for business conglomerates (hotel chains build on concentrations of businesses that provide recreation and leisure for high-income foreign and national tourists).

Krugman's studies coincide with the general purpose of this study, because the seven geographic principles (distance, accessibility, interaction, diffusion, transportation, comparative advantage and agglomeration) that define the location of the global economy's productive activities (tourist activity) must also be used in regional analysis. Of course, these principles become relevant without taking into consideration the limit of an isotropic plane, the beginning of the advantage of accessibility and agglomeration can be seen as historic in its origin and cumulative in its nature (Krugman, P., 2000).

This study hypothesizes that economic growth that gives rise to the process of globalization through worldwide productive restructuring entails heightened disparities between world regions, leading to greater differentiation characterized by an elevated economic concentration in some regions and urban localities. This is a result of the differences between various market sectors, the agglomeration of fixed capital and global and economic sector productivity (promotion of tourist activity). Only certain geographic areas of the world economy form hubs around which gravitate investment flows, financing and production that allows for the establishment of cutting-edge technological research and development.

Effectively, as has been explained, the economic features of a region are determined based on the predominant characteristics of a world development that structurally reproduces inter- and intra-economic inequalities, both within and outside of a region, exacerbating the disparities or divergences between them, at all levels, including local, regional, national and international.

The central question that must be asked is thus the following: What is the most prominent characteristic of the geographic distribution of economic activity?

The New Geographic Economy (nge)6 that Paul Krugman put forth (1997) updates the importance of a territory, although it involves suppositions contrary to those that consider a region as an isotropic plane.

The nge is a combination of spatial-economic approximations that were largely exclusive, despite arising from the same train of thought. Thus, the nge introduces a series of new "microeconomic" fundamentals that state the following:

  • It must be part of an imperfect center of competition, which is fundamental, especially in the conceptualization of localizing implications of production theory.
  • Imperfect competition is linked to a scheme of increasing returns. This is also important because these increasing returns favor the concentration of economic activity in few spaces. Increasing returns are the principal centripetal force that exists in the system.
  • Great importance is placed on the process of externalities as those positive or negative effects generated by an activity or an enterprise over others in their environment. This provokes an increase or decrease in its benefit and/or utility. As such, these processes are directly related with proximity. The notion of externality, despite its far-removed origin, currently plays an important role as the principal factor that explains tendencies favorable to the spatial concentration of innovative activities. Geographers have also contributed to the notion of the field of externality. (Mendez, R., 1997).
  • Location theory is linked to other areas of study and traditions of economic thought, as in the case of international trade and growth theories. In this way, increasing returns would explain the economic growth of different territories (and their general tendency towards non-convergence). The concept of the cumulative process mentioned above illustrates the process of industrial agglomeration.

6 Krugman, P. (1997) himself recognizes that the tenets set forth by the nge are not entirely new. In effect, the concept of agglomeration advantages tied to increasing scale returns dates back to Marshall's contributions, to the German geographer Von Thünen's models at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and to followers of the Jena school, all the way up to the first half of the twentieth century with influential geographers (Lösch and Christaller, W.).

Published in Mexico, 2012-2017 © D.R. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).
PROBLEMAS DEL DESARROLLO. REVISTA LATINOAMERICANA DE ECONOMÍA, Volume 49, Number 192, January-March is a quarterly publication by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, CP 04510, México, D.F. by Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas, Circuito Mario de la Cueva, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán,
CP 04510, México, D.F. Tel (52 55) 56 23 01 05 and (52 55) 56 24 23 39, fax (52 55) 56 23 00 97, www.probdes.iiec.unam.mx, revprode@unam.mx. Journal Editor: Alicia Girón González. Reservation of rights to exclusive use of the title: 04-2012-070613560300-203, ISSN: pending. Person responsible for the latest update of this issue: Minerva García, Circuito Maestro Mario de la Cueva s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, CP 04510, México D.F., latest update: Feb 23th, 2018.
The opinions expressed by authors do not necessarily reflect those of the editor of the publication.
Permission to reproduce all or part of the published texts is granted provided the source is cited in full including the web address.
Credits | Contact

The online journal Problemas del Desarrollo. Revista Latinoamericana de Economía corresponds to the printed edition of the same title with ISSN 0301-7036