Our research group studies issues related to economic geography in a long-run perspective. We analyze how and why the location of economic activities change, from the pre-industrial period up to the present. Not only do we aim to demonstrate the importance of history in the formation of the present-day economic landscape, but also the applicability geography to understanding historical patterns of development and underdevelopment. Major research issues covered by this group are the development of cities, the role of infrastructure for spatial growth patterns, market integration and the creation of national markets, the basis for manufacturing agglomeration, and the long-run sources of regional inequality.
As economic processes tend to move slowly, a long-run perspective is necessary to empirically analyze the role of geographic factors in economic development. However, the scope for empirical research by using modern spatial datasets is limited. Most regional datasets are contemporary in nature and only cover a few decades. Thus, a major research effort in this group is to collect and construct long-run datasets covering spatial patterns.
So far the group has presented new datasets covering regional GDPs, manufacturing employment and transportation networks on Sweden. Our group has a strong comparative component, as investigations and constructions of datasets are closely aligned with research efforts taken in other European countries within an international Historical Economic Geography network .