What Is The Link Between Economics And Geography?

What does Economics have to do with Geography? For anyone thinking of studying Geography and Economics at University, or related subjects such as Land Economy, this is the question on the mind of many.

Author: Chloe Hewitt

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Table of Contents

Isn’t Geography just about maps?

For many, their idea of Geography is simply maps and countries of the world. However, that only scratches the surface of the subject. 

Though it may not seem it on the face of it, there is a rather obvious and important link between Economics and Geography. 

Understanding this link and combining the two fields allows you to have the analytical rigour of Economics in addition to the real-life examples in Geography. 

Why Does Economics Matter?

It is important to remember that Economics is not solely about numbers, and a big part of it is how people behave and how they respond to changes in their situation. 

Every economy is comprised of people operating in a particular setting. Similarly, the study of Economics and Economic principles is central to understanding and predicting how individuals and groups are likely to respond to various economic incentives rationally.

Economic Geography, the marriage of both, focuses on drawing out the human aspect of labour rather than primarily on mathematical theories and equations. It helps us study how communities function, how cities operate and how the global system communicates across nodes.

What Is The Importance Of Geography To Economics?

Geography, relating to the study of physical features and human activity, is central to a practical understanding of how an economy functions.

There are some obvious ways in which Geography affects Economics. For example, long distances and difficult terrain affects the ability to distribute goods. Additionally, factors like climate might affect the kind of goods and services people want. 

Additionally, there are also human elements to Economic Geography. For example, you can look at how Economic factors determine where and how people live, such as when people move to places where they can get a job more efficiently. 

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What Does Economic Geography Cover?

Within the subject of Economic Geography, there are several branches that tackle different aspects of it. 

Theoretical Economic Geography is the broadest of the branches, and geographers working within this subdivision mainly focus on building new theories for how the world’s economy is arranged.

Regional Economic Geography looks at the economies of specific regions worldwide; they look at local development and the relationships that particular parts have with other areas. 

Historical Economic Geography looks at the historical development of an area to understand their economies.

Behavioural Economic Geographers focus on an area’s people and their decisions to study the economy. 

The final topic of study is Critical Economic Geography, which developed after geographers attempted to study Economic Geography without using the traditional methods listed above. For example, they will look at economic inequalities and the dominance of one region over another and how that dominance impacts economic development. 

In addition, to these different concepts, Economic Geographers will often also study particular themes related to the economy. Such examples of this are agriculture, transportation, natural resources and trade. 

Why Should You Study Economics And Geography?

Economic Geography is essential in developed nations because it allows researchers to understand the structure of the area’s economy and its economic relationship with other regions worldwide.

It is evident that from the study of Economic Geography, you can gain vital insight into our place in the world and how what we do impacts it. 

Acknowledging the link and combining the analytical rigour of Economics with the real-life examples of Geography will open more avenues of study and test different academic abilities that you may not have used before. 

The subject combines two, which may seem at first to have nothing in common, but when you look deeper at them can see how heavily they rely on one another. 

For anyone potentially undecided with the two, Economic Geography offers the unique opportunity to study them both and develop existing knowledge.

The Land Economy course at Cambridge is one such course available in the UK that puts this into reality, with the added extra of some Law being involved too. 

Conclusion

It is important to recognise and consider the link between Economics and Geography, and the relevance that it holds in everyone’s daily lives. 

By understanding how the two subjects complement each other, it provides an opportunity for Economic Geographers to truly capture the human value of Economics forces. 

The link between Economics and Geography is evident to see, and knowing this allows you to use them in tandem effectively. 

So much for Geography, just being maps. 

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