- ICT and economic growth: do we lose our concentration?   click here to open paper content41 kb
by    Van Oort, Frank & Van der Laan, Lambert & null, null | frank.vanoort@rop.rpd.minvrom.nl   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
ICT and economic growth: do we lose our concentration?

Frank van Oort (a)
Lambert van der Laan (b)

The paper (1) reviews the relevant (international) literature on the death of distance hypothesis as ‘opposed’ to that of agglomeration economies and (2) presents recent empirical analyses on the subject for the Netherlands.

For participants of the ISOCARP-conference it is useful to have an overview of this literature and to understand the measurement difficulties in empirical research. It turns out that the shrinkage of entrepreneurial space is function-, occupation and sector specific in character. Within the setting of labour market economics ICT is but one of the elements shaping the spatial landscape of working and living, and its role is more facilitating than determining patterns and interactions. Changing labour relations in knowledge industries are considered more fundamental for this.

Based on three papers published by the authors in 2000 and 2001 (c)on deconcentrating and agglomeration economies and ICT in knowledge intensive industries the authors come to an alternative interpretation of agglomeration economies. This interpretation is more social and institutional in character than purely economic. In this, especially diversified urban locations and regions form the glue in economic and societal performance and growth. Empirically, employment structures and growth patterns are analysed over the 1990’ies on low (locations) and high (regions) spatial scales. In line with the international literature, the analyses in the paper put considerable question marks to the current popular hypotheses on the death of distance and footloose business due to ICT.

The authors are involved in this theme by a joint research project research of the National Spatial Planning Agency, part of the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM) in co-operation with the Erasmus University Rotterdam. The empirical research on the level of regions and work/living locations has been carried out for the preparation of the Fifth Document of Spatial Planning (2001) of the Ministry of VROM.

Presentation of these hypotheses and results should ideally be in plenary session 3: cyberspace and the loss of concentration.

(a) National Spatial Planning Agency The Hague and Erasmus University Rotterdam
(b) Erasmus University Rotterdam (REGIO-RISBO).
(c) F. van Oort (2000), Eenheid in tegendelen? ICT en het primaat van de stad. Stedebouw & Ruimtelijke Ordening 6, pp. 19-25,D.P. van Soest, F.G. van Oort en S. Gerking (2001), Kennisexternaliteiten in Nederland. Economisch Statistische Berichten 86:4289, pp. 14-17 and L. van der Laan (2000), Ruimte voor ICT. Economisch Statistische Berichten 85, pp. D27-D31.
The effects of ict on regional and urban development depend on contradictory visions of liberalisation, agglomeration and inertia. The tension between the views and the policy questions involved are central in this paper. Present research does not indicate substantial proof for a ‘shrinkage of space’ for (all) economic activities.

agglomeration, ict, economic growth
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