Harald Bathelt (University of Toronto),<>
Max Buchholz (University of Toronto),<>
Michael Storper (LSE, UCLA, Sciences Po Paris),<>

Session Description:
Scholarly attention to economic inequality in the social sciences has often 
focused on individual-level inequalities, and yet, the dynamics of inequality 
are explicitly geographic in nature. After a century of regional income 
convergence in the United States, this process has been slowing down since the 
1980s (Ganong & Shoag, 2017). Similarly, strong convergence between European 
regions in the postwar period has given way to divergence since the 1980s 
(Rosés & Wolf, 2018). Intergenerational social mobility superimposes these 
processes and adds more complexity. It varies greatly across regions (Chetty et 
al., 2014) and is highly dependent on localized economic contexts 
(Goodwin-White, 2016). Altogether, these economic geographies appear related to 
social factors and to systems of values, attitudes toward difference and 
perceptions of opportunity that are all created and recreated at the local 
level (Storper, 2018; Alesina et al., 2018). At the same time as inter-regional 
convergence came to a halt in the 1980s, poverty within U.S. cities became more 
spatially concentrated, having lasting effects on the economic outcomes of 
adolescents from the respective urban quarters (Holloway & Mulherin, 2004). 
Moreover, the benefits of high-technology employment (Kemeny & Osman, 2018), 
global FDI linkages (Bathelt & Buchholz, 2018) and international migration 
(Cooke & Kemeny, 2017), all appear to be distributed in ways that contribute to 
both inequalities between and within regions.

Geographers have made important contributions to our understanding of intra- 
and interregional inequality, yet we believe these discussions still need to 
invoke a broader response in the discipline. And we believe that the conceptual 
and methodological tools put us in a strong position to go much further to 
better understand and fight inequality. This set of sessions invites papers 
that provide new empirical or conceptual perspectives on dynamics of inter- and 
intra-regional economic inequalities. We welcome papers that consider forces or 
processes that contribute to both processes, but also those that treat them 
separately. Papers discussing how dynamics of inequality vary according to 
gender, race, citizenship status, and other demographic characteristics, or 
that take historical approaches to spatial inequality are welcome. We hope to 
stimulate increased attention to the dynamics of inequality, divergence and 
uneven development in economic geography.


Alesina, A., Stantcheva, S., & Teso, E. (2018). Intergenerational mobility and 
preferences for redistribution. American Economic Review, 108, 521–554.

Bathelt, H. & Buchholz, M. (2018). Outward Foreign Direct Investments as a 
Catalyst of Urban-Regional Income Development? Evidence from the United States. 
SPACES online, 2018-02. Toronto & Heidelberg:<>.

Chetty, R., Hendren, N., Kline, P., & Saez, E. (2014). Where is the land of 
opportunity? The geography of intergenerational mobility in the United States. 
Quarterly Journal of Economics, 129, 1553–1623.

Cooke, A., & Kemeny, T. (2017). The economic geography of immigrant diversity: 
Disparate impacts and new directions. Geography Compass, 11, 1–14.

Ganong, P., & Shoag, D. (2017). Why has regional income convergence in the U.S. 
declined? Journal of Urban Economics, 102, 76–90.

Goodwin-White, J. (2016). Is social mobility spatial? Characteristics of 
immigrant metros and second generation outcomes: 1940-1970 and 1970-2000. 
Population, Space and Place, 22, 807–822.

Holloway, S. R., & Mulherin, S. (2004). The effect of adolescent neighborhood 
poverty on adult employment. Journal of Urban Affairs, 26, 427–454.

Kemeny, T., & Osman, T. (2018). The wider impacts of high-technology 
employment: Evidence from U.S. cities. Research Policy. Advance online 

Rosés, J. R., & Wolf, N. (2018). Regional Economic Development In Europe, 
1900-2010: A Description Of The Patterns. Working Paper 278. London: London 
School of Economics and Political Science Department of Economic History 
Working Papers.

Storper, M. (2018). Separate worlds? Explaining the current wave of regional 
economic polarization. Journal of Economic Geography, 18, 247–270.

Maximilian A. Buchholz
PhD Student Geography, University of Toronto<>

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