Economic development

Essay by hgf1972 January 2005

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Content

INTRODUCTION: 1

THE ROLE OF GEOGRAPHY IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 1

WHAT DOES THE DISTANCE MATTER? 3

WHAT DETERMINES DISTANCE COSTS AND HOW DOES ICT RESHAPE THEM? 4

WHAT ARE THE LIMITATIONS OF ICT'S EFFECT ON DISTANCE? 6

CONCLUSION 9

REFERENCES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY 10

Introduction:

New communications and information technologies (ICT) have made the communication in long distance more and more convenient and cheap. It seems that the developing countries would benefit sufficiently from the decreasing costs of establishing communications networks, which could results in "the prospect of better provision of education, health care, and host of other services" (Anthony J. Venables, 2001). Based on that, some writers argue that the geography would be meaningless for the economy development once those developing countries are armed with good communications. On the contrary, some writers believe that geography still matters a great deal for economic interaction and for the spatial distribution of income.

The objective of this paper is to evaluate those claims from the both sides. To draw the conclusion, a few questions must be answered properly: what and in which way does the distance mean to the development of national economy? How the ICT would change the situation? Does it work as effectively as expected? By analysis the limitation of ICT in term of rewriting the rule of economic geography, this paper will definitely support the opinion of that distance still matters.

The role of geography in economic development

When we take a look at the economic development in the global view, it is easily found how important role is played by geography. For example, those countries of the Temperate Zone are richer than countries in the tropics, and per capita income in Europe follows a downward tend from the north-west corner. There are large regional inequalities in...