The Opening Ceremony began with words of welcome from Piet Rietveld (Chair Local Organizing Committee), Harmen Verbruggen (Dean Faculty of Economics and Business Administration of the Vrije Universiteit), Roberto Camagni (President of the European Regional Science Association) and Robert Stimson (President of the Regional Sciense Association International).
Next, a thematic plenary session organized by Peter Nijkamp addressed the question: why do people have a preference for (seemingly) risky locations? And is it possible to develop a rational theory of irrational behaviour? The session started with a general overview of locational risks and innovative choice, given by Peter Nijkamp. The land-water interface was elucidated on the basis of recent planning challenges in The Netherlands and was concluded with an outline of research challenges at the edge of spatial dynamics and sustainable development. Next, Henk Scholten demonstrated how recent modelling advances in geo-information science can be instrumental in mapping out the complex space-time land-water interactions in locational choices subject to risk conditions. The planning challenges at a regional level were illustrated by Patrick Poelmann who described the state of affairs in actual and future-oriented strategies for coping with the threats and opportunities of water management. And finally, Bob Stimson outlined how the new perspective on space-time dynamics, land-water interactions and emerging networks fits in the overall research agenda of regional science.
Professor Åke E. Andersson from the Jönköping International Business School in Sweden is the winner of the 2005 European Prize in Regional Science. The Prize Committee unanimously endorsed his candidacy for his "life long significant contribution to Regional Science and his outstanding scholarship". After a short award ceremony, Professor Andersson gave a plenary August Lösch Lecture under the title "The economics of entertainment and arts in a world of disappearing distance".
Professor Åke E. Andersson was born in Sweden in 1936. He received his degree in economics at the University of Göteborg, and thereafter worked for the City of Stockholm, the Nordic Institute of Planning in Stockholm, the University of Göteborg, the University of Pennsylvania, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria, the University of Umea, the Swedish Institute for Futures Studies, the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, and currently as a professor of Economics at the Jönköping International Business School. His first research interests were oriented to programming models of regional and industrial models with a focus on integer variables and other non-convexities as consequences of economies of scale and economic interdependencies. Later on he became focused on theories and models of regional and industrial economic growth and the role of infrastructure in the regional and urban economies. This led him towards the role of knowledge in the economic growth process and the first formal models were published in the early 80s. In recent years he has been working on the economics of experiences, entertainment and arts.
The key-note speakers at the ERSA 2005 conference were J. Vernon Henderson from Brown University who spoke on "Urbanization and Growth", and Jacques F. Thisse from l'Université Catholique de Louvain who spoke on "Two Phases of Globalization". Further information on the presenters and their presentations is given immediately below.
Urbanization and Growth by J. Vernon Henderson
What are the inter-relations between economic growth, city formation, and city growth? Fundamental to answering this question is understanding the nature of agglomeration economies, including static information spillovers, pecuniary externalities, and dynamic knowledge spillovers. There is empirical evidence on aspects of knowledge and information spillovers, suggesting they are strong but dissipate rapidly over space. However, there is much we have yet to identify about agglomeration economies and one challenge for researchers is to uncover more precisely their exact nature. In a context where countries are growing and urbanizing, we need to understand what drives new city formation and growth of existing cities and what are the roles of governance, institutions and public policy. New city formation requires enormous investments in physical infrastructure. Institutions and policies governing land markets, local government autonomy, local government borrowing, and national policies dealing with trade, migration, communications and transport all affect the nature of urbanization. Understanding the key aspects of good institutions and policies is fundamental to understanding how to improve national growth performance.
J. Vernon Henderson is Eastman Professor of Political Economy, Professor of Economics and Urban Studies, and Chair of Urban Studies at Brown University in Providence USA. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His research focuses on models, empirics and policy in the areas of urban development and local public finance, in both developed countries and developing countries such as Brazil, Korea, China, India, and Indonesia. He is author of Economic Theory and the Cities and Urban Development: Theory Fact and Illusion, and co-editor with Jacques-François Thisse of the fourth volume of the Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics. He has published numerous scientific papers in journals such as the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Economica, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Urban Economics, and Regional Science and Urban Economics. He is a fellow of the Regional Science Association International, has received fellowships from the Guggenheim, Earhart and Leverhulme Foundations and has been awarded numerous research grants by the National Science Foundation and World Bank. His current NSF research examines the political economy of corruption on Java and the recovery of villages from the tsunami in Aceh, Indonesia. His current World Bank research examines urban growth worldwide from 1960-2000 and in Brazil from 1980-2000.
Two Phases of Globalization by Jacques F. Thisse
It is well known that the Western World, and probably other areas too, have experienced a first phase of globalization before WWI. The driving force behind this process was the spectacular decline in transport costs that had been allowed by the technological innovations associated with the Industrial Revolution. This phase may be well approximated by the core-periphery model developed by Krugman. The second phase started soon after WWII and was originally driven by substantial decreases in tariffs. However, even today trade costs remain non negligible whereas communication costs fall down. This is likely to have major implications on the way firms conduct their business. The idea is to simulate this on-going process by means of a new economic geography model that encapsulates both trade and communication costs. According to the evolution of these two types of costs, the global economy may follow quite different paths.
Jacques-François Thisse is professor of economics and regional science at the Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium) and at the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (Paris). He is currently president of CORE. A Fellow of the Econometric Society and of the Regional Science Association International, he has been awarded the 2004 William Alonso Memorial Prize as well as the 2005 Ernest-John Solvay Prize from the Belgian FNRS. He is one of the founders of the European Economic Association and was a member of the Board of Directors from 1986 to 89. He has been program chairman of the European Meeting of the Econometric Society in 1992 and member of the World Council of the RSA from 1986 to 1990. Jacques-François Thisse holds an honorary degree from Université de Montréal. He has published more than 200 papers in scientific journals, including American Economic Review, Econometrica, Journal of Political Economy, International Economic Review, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Urban Economics, Management Science, Geographical Analysis and Journal of Regional Science. He is the co-author of Discrete Choice Theory of Product Differentiation (MIT Press) and of Economics of Agglomeration (Cambridge University Press) and the co-editor with Vernon Henderson of the fourth volume of the Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics.
45th Congress of the European Regional Science Association