38th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Europe Quo Vadis? - Regional Questions at the Turn of the Century", 28 August - 1 September 1998, Vienna, Austria
Globalization has caused students of international trade and of technological change to rediscover the significance of time and place in their explanatory models. If one accepts the proposition that institutional and technological changes are the main driving forces of globalization, one may raise the following questions: (1) To what extent does history matter, i.e., how strongly are competitive advantages of nations and regions shaped by initial conditions and path dependence? (2) Has the increasing international mobility of information, especially of technological information, replaced hierarchies with networks, in the process undermining the technological hegemony of the old industrialized economies? (3) How have these developments affected the location of production, and therefore the significance of regions as cohesive economic units? Attempts to answer these questions can be based on old and new theoretical insights, combined with empirical evidence. Answers will always remain tentative, however, because of the essential unpredictability of future technological advances.