An Economic Definition of the City

  • Catherine Baumont
  • Hubert Beguin
  • Jean-Marie Huriot
Part of the Advanced Studies in Theoretical and Applied Econometrics book series (ASTA, volume 35)


Cities are a universal phenomenon which first appeared at several points around the planet after the Neolithic revolution (Bairoch, 1985) before spreading worldwide, growing and changing. The city-states of the ancient world, the fortified cities of the Middle Ages, the industrial cities of the 19th century and the world metropolises of the end of this millennium with their immense diversity of shape, function and development, all go by the name of city. But just what are these cities that so attract people, that fascinate and frighten, that bring progress but also nuisances, that nowadays group together the greater proportion of the world’s population and the bulk of economic and cultural output? Beyond the simple fact that human societies have become urbanized, and because of the very scope and diversity of the process, there is a need for theoretical reflection if we want to understand and master the city. But understanding the city means identifying it first.


Urban Economic Agglomeration Economy Collective Good Spatial Concentration Agglomeration Process 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine Baumont
  • Hubert Beguin
  • Jean-Marie Huriot

There are no affiliations available

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