Economic Geography 2

The “ReshapingEconomic Geography” report from the World Bank that I started talking two weeks ago has an easy way to visualize the location of the main economic hubs in the World:

Clearly, most of the world’s economic activity takes place around the 40º north of the Equator.

This picture is just static, if we could see the time evolution we would see that the number of transactions worldwide has increased dramatically, mainly due to a fall on costs of communicating. Although not everywhere, the following chart shows the number of checkpoints a road from Bamako to the coast has.

Its just impossible to imagine how anyone can make trade business there.

Even in the era of the Internet, transport costs are the main deterrent to economic growth. Bogota shows how economic time saving public transport reduced poverty rates in the slums:

Sometimes, this internal mobility creates interesting social disparities like the one that happen in Germany after the Reunification

As it can be seen economic variables are quite often determined by political decisions, and also political decisions of the past, like in the case just seen of Germany or the case of Africa.


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