A Behavioural Theory of Economic Development: The Uneven Evolution of Cities and Regions

ISBN : 9780198832348

Robert Huggins; Piers Thompson
320 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Jan 2021
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Innovation, entrepreneurship, knowledge, and human capital are widely acknowledged as key levers of development. Yet what are the sources of these factors, and why do they differ in their endowment across regions? Motivated by a belief that theories of economic development can move beyond the generally accepted explanations of location and the organization of industries and capital, this book establishes a behavioural theory of economic development illustrating that differences in human behaviour across cities and regions are a significant deep-rooted cause of uneven development. Fusing a range of concepts relating to culture, psychology, human agency, institutions, and power, it proposes that the long-term differentials in economic development between cities and regions, both within and across nations, is strongly connected to the underlying forms of behaviour enacted by humans on an individual and collective basis. Given a world of finite and limited resources, coupled with a rapidly growing population - especially in cities and urban regions - human behaviour, and the expectations and preferences upon which it is based, are central to understanding how notions of development may change in coming years. This book provides a novel theory of the role of psychocultural context and human behavioural and institutional frameworks in uneven economic development on a global scale.


1 Introduction: Behaviour and the Development Problem
2 Human Behaviour and the Development of Cities and Regions
3 The Psychocultural Life of Cities and Regions
4 Agency, Economic Evolution, and History
5 Institutions, Capital, and Network Behaviour
6 The Co-Evolution of Culture, Psychology, and Institutions
7 The Nature and Sources of Agency
8 Agency, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation
9 An Extended Behavioural Model of Economic Development
10 Addressing Unevenness

About the author: 

Robert Huggins is Chair of Economic Geography and Director of Research at the School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University, as well as the Director of Cardiff University's Cities Research Centre. His research interests and expertise concern urban and regional economic development, in particular the study of behaviour, culture, competitiveness, knowledge flows, entrepreneurship, innovation, clusters, and inter-organizational networks. He has published more than eighty articles in peer-reviewed journals and authored or edited five books. ; Piers Thompson is Professor of Economics at Nottingham Business School and Deputy Unit of Assessment Coordinator at Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University. His research interests include behavioural economics, choice and welfare, and economic competitiveness, with a focus on spatial economics and understanding geographic differences in development, culture, entrepreneurship, network behaviour, and economic growth. He is a review board member of the International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research and has published over forty peer-reviewed journal articles.

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