Historical Economic Geography: Cities, Markets and Regions in the 19th and 20th Centuries

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Juan Roses Vendoiro SAR 5.15


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Economic History and Geography. This course is available on the BSc in Economic History, BSc in Economic History with Economics, BSc in Economics and Economic History and BSc in Economics with Economic History. This course is not available as an outside option nor to General Course students.

Course content

The course explores how and why the location of economic activities changes across time and space from industrialization up to the present. One goal for this course is to demonstrate the importance of history in the formation of the present-day economic landscape. An equally important goal is to demonstrate the applicability of the study of economic geography to the understanding of historical patterns of development and underdevelopment. The course is not organized chronologically but thematically. Particular attention focuses on four major issues: the development of cities, the creation of national markets, the historical basis for manufacturing agglomeration, and the historical evolution and sources of regional inequality.


20 hours of seminars in the MT. 20 hours of seminars in the LT.

This course is delivered via 2-hour seminars in Michaelmas Term and Lent Term. 

The course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Michaelmas Term and Lent Term.

Formative coursework

All students are expected to write one formative essay, or similar piece of work, and make one formative presentation that will not be used in the final assessment.

Indicative reading

Combes, Pierre-Philippe, Thierry Mayer and Jacques-François Thisse, Economic Geography: The Integration of Regions and Nations. Princeton University Press, 2008. Garretsen, Harry and Martin, Ron (2010), Rethinking (New) Economic Geography Models: Taking Geography and History More Seriously, Spatial Economic Analysis, 5, 2, pp. 127-160. Joan Ramón Rosés and Nikolaus Wolf (eds), The Economic Development of Europe's Regions: A Quantitative History since 1900, Routledge, 2018. Daniel A. Tirado-Fabregat, Marc Badia-Miro, Henry Willebald (eds) Time and Space: Latin American Regional Development in Historical Perspective, Palgrave, 2020. W.Walker Hanlon and Stephan Heblich (2022), History and urban economics, Regional Science and Urban Economics, 94.


Essay (35%, 3500 words) and presentation (30%) in the LT.
Essay (35%, 3500 words) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: Economic History

Total students 2021/22: 19

Average class size 2021/22: 19

Capped 2021/22: Yes (18)

Value: One Unit

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Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills