Tropical Geography ›› 2019, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (5): 711-720.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003176

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Development and Construction of Institutional Theory for Economic Geography

Fu Yi, Zhao Ziqi()   

  1. Business School, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
  • Received:2019-03-05 Revised:2019-09-02 Online:2019-09-10 Published:2019-11-08
  • Contact: Zhao Ziqi


Currently, significant institutional differences and uneven development exist in regions in China. Thus, integrating economic geography and institutional research is necessary. Previously, economic geographers paid considerable attention to the evolution and current characteristics of economic geography or the methods and concepts of institutions regarding economic geography. There have been few discussions on the relation between economic geography and institutional studies in history. Thus, in this paper, first, we briefly reviewed the historical relation between economic geography and institutional research, and we determined that economic geography and institutional research were separated but then integrated. However, the situation of integration of the economic geography and institutional research is still unclear. Second, we analyzed the current development status and deficiencies of institutional research of economic geography based on three aspects: institutional economic geography, geographic economics, and evolutionary economic geography. Third, we describe the orientation of the construction of institutional theory for economic geography. The construction of institutional theory should be based on evolutionary economic geography, existing research of economic geography, and other disciplines. Finally, to construct institutional theory, the following measures should be adopted: 1) pay considerable attention to building the hierarchical structure of the institution under the guidance of system theory and the hierarchy view, 2) seek methodological breakthroughs on the basis of anti-reductionism, 3) emphasize the role of time in the institutional system via evolutionary thinking and path dependence theory, 4) strengthen institutional research on various spatial scales, and 5) pay attention to the reference and innovation of tools and methods.

Key words: economic geography, institution, time dimension, space scale, paradigm, ontology, methodology

CLC Number: 

  • F091.349