Economic Geography Glossary



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is the extent to which a statistical instrument measures what it was designed to measure; for example, IQ tests may have a high reliability (people tend to achieve similar scores over time). However, they might have a low validity when it comes measuring certain competences, such job skills. [see also: reliability]

Value chain

refers to a business as a "collection of interdependent activities, which in turn, form part of a continuous system that stretches back to suppliers and forward to channels and customers... Using the value chain framework, Michael Porter suggests advantage can be captured through ... improvement or reorganization of these value activities." (van den Bosch & de Man, eds., p.10)

Value network

The communications network of relations between all individuals and organizations who add value to a product [for more, see Bill Gates, 1999, pp.216-9]

Values platform

"The Board of Trustees voted to adopt Choices & Responsibility as the official "values platform" from which to conduct strategic planning. What that means, according to (the) President, is that in the future, the trustees will evaluate critical decisions in light of the five areas addressed in Choices & Responsibility (C&R)." [Emory University]


A variable or variable number is a unspecified quantity that may assume any one of a set of values ( = the "range" of a variable). Variables can be continuous or discontinuous and "dependent" and "independent"

Variable costs of production (or transport)

Vector (in matrix analysis, such as analyses involving transition probability matrices, input-output matrices or accessibility matrices [in network analysis])

a collection of numbers ordererd either in
  1. columns (column vector); or
  2. rows (row vector)
Individual numbers within a vector are called "components"

Vertical integration

Corporate mergers involving firms which are involved in forwardly or backwardly related production stages, i.e. they buy each other's inputs or outputs. A merger accomplishing an internalization of such linkages increases control of input or output markets and thereby over prices and other market facets.
Two adjacent production stages are said to be vertically integrated when they are brought under common ownership and control. "Under vertical integration, the intermediate product is traded within the firm. If the two stages share the same production site than the integration occurs within the plant; otherwise it occurs between plants. When adjacent stages are located in different countries, vertical integration leads to international, intra-firm trade. " (M. Casson, 1986)

Vertical Mixing

"ensures a variety of different ages, experience sets, and skills on design teams" (Quinn et al, Innovation Explosion, p.164)

Vicious cycle (or circle) of poverty

A conceptual reference to the complex, self-reinforcing (via "positive feedback") interdependency of poverty-causing and sustaining factors in multi-causal, chain-like processes. Often referred to in the context of "underdevelopment".

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