Monday, September 21, 2015

The Geographic Scale of Globalization Isn't Global

Nations—and even cities—don't globalize. Globalization spreads block by block.

Theme: Geography of globalization

Subject Article: "What cities tell us about the economy."

Other Links: 1. "Blast from my past: "The Pentagon's New Map" (2003)."
2. "Mapping America's War on Terrorism: An Aggressive New Strategy."
3. "Of cars and carts: Despite decades of reform, most Mexicans are still a long way from wealth and modernity."
4. "Get Canuckified at Moe's."
5. "Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience."
6. "A Long History of a Short Block: Four Centuries of Development Surprises on a Single Stretch of a New York City Street."
7. "From Metal to Minds: Economic Restructuring in the Rust Belt."
8. "Urban Decline in Rust-belt Cities."

Postscript: Demographer John Weeks also looked at the Economist article about economic development in Mexico:

But the birth rate is not evenly low throughout Mexico, even though it is lower in every state now than it used to be. I created a state-by-state map of the TFR in Mexico for 2000 from the INEGI data, and you can see that fertility is very low in Mexico City and especially in states closer to the US-Mexico border. I used data for 2000 instead of 2013 for the map because these data will reflect the youth population of today--the group of people needing to be absorbed by the Mexican economy. The state of Guerrero, just to the south of Mexico City (albeit over the mountains), and the state of Coahuila, bordering south Texas, had the highest fertility levels in 2000 (as they do still now). So, proximity to the engines of modernization (i.e., Mexico City and the US) does not ensure low fertility. At the same time, the lowest levels of fertility are generally found in Mexico City and its surrounding areas, and along the rest of the US-Mexico except for Coahuila. But you can also see that fertility is below average in the Yucatan peninsula. As the Economist rightly notes, it is the combination of geography and culture that matters, and that is the essence of spatial demography.

Fair to say, Weeks comes to a different conclusion than I do. I make a big deal about proximity to the engines of modernization. Weeks downplays the effects. The two perspective aren't mutually exclusive. Instead, the tension raises a host of interesting research questions.

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