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Introduction:

Man is the central point of the geographical study. The branch of Geography which studies the economic activities of man is called economic Geography. Man is an active creature so the economic benefit is most important in whatever he does. Economic Geography is the branch of human geography.


Economic Geography: Definition, Type and Approaches


Economic Geography deals with the primary, secondary tertiary and quaternary sectors of the economy, availability and distribution of natural resources, productivity and their role in industrial development. This subject focuses on the role of geographic elements in the growth of the Economy of a region and the world. It also deals with the energy crisis, food and nutrition problems and patterns of world trade.

In the different part of the world, man is carrying on the various kinds of economic and commercial activities for livelihood and highest manner of life. it may be cutting and Sawing Timber, catching fish and hunting birds and wild animals, collecting herbs And roots, Farming and growing crops of different kinds, managing cottage Industries are establishing factories, engaging in service or trade man is doing all these things for the fulfilment and betterment of his needs. The difference in these activities in different part is mainly due to such causes as the physical structure, surface, climate, soil, vegetation and other natural resources, coupled with human activities and technical development. Thus, the subject matter of economic and commercial Geography is the analysis of the point where, when, why and how natural resources should be made use of.


Definitions of Economics geography:   

Different geographers have forwarded the definition of Economics geography in a different way. However, all the definitions seem to converge at a point. Therefore, it may be summaries as the study of the spatial distribution of man economics activities with relation to his environment, physical and cultural. However, it would be interesting to have a brief review of how individual authorities deal with this matter.

According to Dudley Stamp, Economic Geography “involves consideration of the geographical and other factors which influence man’s productivity, but only in limited depths, so far as they are connected with production and trade.”
      
Professor E. W. Zimmermann pointed out that, Economic Geography deals with the economic life of the man with relation to the environment.
S. Thoman in his book  'The Geography of Economic Activity’ has remarked, 'Economic Geography may be defined as an inquiry into the production, exchange, and consump­tion of goods by people in different areas of the world. Particular emphasis is placed on the location of economic activity — upon asking just why economic functions are situated where they are in this world.'
      
MacFarlane describes Economic Geography as the study of 'influence exerted on the economic activity of man by his physical environment, and more specifically by the form and structure of the surface of the land, the climatic conditions which prevail upon it and the spatial relations in which its different regions stand to one another.'

In the words of Hartshorn and Alexander: 'Economic Geography is the study of the spatial variation on the earth’s surface of activities related to producing, exchanging and consuming goods and services. Whenever possible the goal is to develop generalizations and theories to account for these spatial variations.'

Surpassing all, Chisholm says that Economic Geography is presumed to 'form some reasonable estimate of the future course of commercial development', as determined by geographical factors.

Branches of Economic Geography

At present many sub-fields of economic geography have been developed. The major sub-branches o Economics Geography: resource geography, agricultural geography, industrial geography, transport geography, marketing geography etc.


Economic Geography: Definition, Type and Approaches


Resource geography:

Resource geography is related to the study of resources, their distribution, production, utilization, and conservation. It includes the study of both natural resources and human resources. 

Agricultural geography:

Agricultural geography deals with production, location, and pattern of crop distribution and seeks to interpret such distribution in terms of the interaction of multivariate factors of the environment both physical and cultural. Thus, it strives to bring light to the spatial variation in agriculture and the reasons for them.

Industrial geography:

Industrial geography is the study of the spatial arrangement of industrial activity. It deals with manufacturing or secondary industry particularly its location and distribution. 

Industrial geography

Transport geography:

Transport geography is the study of the spatial arrangement of transport activity. It studies the patterns and modes of transport, movement of goods and people and the relationship between transport and other geographic factors.

Marketing geography:

Marketing geography is a new branch of economic geography that studies the spatial variations and spatial organization in marketing activity.


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Approaches to study: 

As economic geography is a very wide discipline, with economic geographers using many different methodologies in the study of the economic phenomenon  in the world some distinct approaches to study have evolved over time: 

Theoretical economic geography focuses on building theories about spatial arrangement and distribution of economic actions.  Regional economic geography examines the economic conditions of particular regions or countries of the world. It deals with economic rationalization as well as local economic development.  Historical economic geography examines the history and development of the spatial economic structure. Using historical data, it examines how centres of population and economic activity shift, what patterns of regional specialization and localization evolve over time and what factors explain these changes. Critically economic geography is an approach taken from the point of view of contemporary critical geography and its philosophy.  Behavioural economic geography examines the cognitive processes underlying spatial reasoning, place decision making, and behaviour of firms and individuals. 

Economic geography is sometimes approached as a branch of anthropogeography that focuses on regional systems of human economic activity. An alternative description of different approaches to the study of human economic activity can be organized around spatiotemporal study, a study of production/consumption of economic items, and study of economic flow. Spatiotemporal systems of study include economic actions of a region, mixed social spaces, and development. 

Alternatively, the study may focus on production, exchange, distribution, and consumption of items of economic activity. Allowing parameters of space-time and item to vary, a geographer may also examine material flow, commodity flow, population flow and information flow from different parts of the economic activity system. Through the study of flow and production, industrial areas, rural and urban residential areas, transportation site, commercial service facilities and finance, and other economic centres are linked together in an economic activity system. 

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