Economic Spaces: Characteristics, Types And Examples

Economic spaces are defined abstract territories or spaces, in which man intervenes for the production and exploitation of a product or service, intended to satisfy human needs.

These spaces may include a region, a country or group of countries with specific interests and standards, or a common market in which a production system operates.

They can be natural or created, they are neither static nor homogeneous, because they are in constant change and transformation in their production and consumption patterns, according to the type of economic space and its prevailing conditions.

Within the economic space all human activities take place from the economic point of view: agriculture, livestock, fishing, mining, industry, commerce, transport, communications, finance, high technology, etc.

Types of economic space

The economic space should not be confused with the geographic space, which is a function of the spatial distribution of the population.

Francois Perroux, who introduced the notion of growth or development poles, defines three types of economic space:

Homogeneous economic space

It is a continuous space in which each of its members or parts that make it up have similar characteristics the closer they are to each other; whose main characteristic is the high degree of existing uniformity.

Polarized economic space

This space, on the contrary, has a heterogeneous character among its components, which complement and support each other.

Its fundamental characteristic is that the exchange of goods and services is carried out, for the most part, with a dominant urban center or axis of power rather than with its neighboring areas.

It is called by some economists as a ” natural pole of development”, that is, on which market forces act and its development is not induced. All its activities are of an economic nature, they do not depend on its geographical location.   

Scheduled economic space

It is a planned space, where several of its areas or parts are affected by the same decision. Its activity depends exclusively on an authority and not on market forces.

It is also called ” artificial pole of development”, because its development must be induced  under the command of work. This type of space corresponds to backward or underdeveloped economies.

Characteristics of the economic space

-Although in planned (socialist) economies it was believed that the economic space could be homogeneous, the truth is that it is anything but homogeneous. This is because consumers do not think or behave in the same way and are constantly changing.

-Economic spaces depend on the prevailing productive system (capitalist, socialist, mixed, etc.) and are also in constant change and are interdependent.

– They can be territorial (region, country, community) or abstract, based on patterns of production or consumption (tastes), also virtual as occurs with the social network Facebook for example, which is itself an economic space in which they sell and buy services.

Examples of economic spaces

North American Economic Area , made up of the United States and Canada. Both countries make up a complementary economic space within the same territory that is governed by common rules.

Latin American Economic Area . This is another example of a territorial economic space within which various forms of economic integration and the common market take place through Mercosur , Unasur, Aladi, Alba or the Andean Community.

-Caribbean Economic Space. Caricom is made up of the countries Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the Bahamas, Haiti, Dominica, Jamaica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.

European Economic Area (EEA) , created in 1994 in order to establish a common market together with the countries outside the European Union.

-The Eurasian Economic Union (UEE), established in 2015 between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.

-Community of Independent States (CIS). Created after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, all the former republics (except Georgia) are part of it, and also all those that were formed after the separation. 

-Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).  Economic and commercial bloc made up of twenty African countries (Burundi, Tunisia, Comoros, Zimbabwe, DR Congo, Zambia, Djibouti, Zambia, Uganda, Egypt, Eritrea, Swaziland, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Seychelles, Libya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Mauritius, Malawi, Madagascar).


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