52nd Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Regions in Motion - Breaking the Path", 21-25 August 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia
During the recent decades, the transformations in the global economy, technology and economic development have stimulated the growth of service sector, especially the growth of producer services at the international level. The producer services support the growth of economy and investment and contribute to a great extent to the restructuring of mega-cities in developed and developing countries. Especially, in some of the developed countries, suburban sub-centers have more producer services than the center of the city. This study investigates the spatial distribution of FIRE services employment and firms in Izmir which is the third most important city of Turkey and has been integrated with international trade for centuries. Free trade policy and globalization increased trade with other countries. Service sector covers more than fifty percent of employment in Izmir as one of the characteristics of a post-modern city. The growth of service sector follows the growth pattern in Turkey. During the last two decades, while service sector employment almost doubled, FIRE services employment were tripled which was much more than population growth ratio in Izmir. Spatial distribution of FIRE firms is investigated according to the concentric zones. The results of the analysis reveal that FIRE firms are mostly concentrated in the core area of Izmir as in the large cities of developing countries, due to highly educated people who they need, high quality cultural and public services demanded by these people, their customers and their linkages with the other firms are mostly found in or near the core area. This trend is within the concept of central place theory. However, there are recently developing two suburban sub-centers which cover one third of FIRE firms due to their higher income background. Also, the distribution of FIRE firms is investigated with respect to sub-sectors. According to these results, while the ratio of financial and insurance firms are higher in the core area, the ratio of real estate firms is higher in the intermediate zone and in the periphery due to large amount of construction going on in these areas. Thus, this trend stimulates multi-center development of the city to some extent as one of the major characteristics of a post-modern city.
Service sector FIRE service employment FIRE firms Space economy Izmir