The New Data Revolution in Regional Science: A Tribute to the Late Stan Czamanski

Dani Broitman, Karima Kourtit

Research output: Working paper / PreprintPreprintAcademic


The methodology of regional science is traditionally based on a sound mix of conceptual framing and operational (or applied) analysis. In recent years, we have witnessed an avalanche of new empirical data used in regional science research (e.g., social media, ‘big data’, sensor data, App data, etc.). Such new data emerge in particular as a result of digital technology applications and interactive media. But also in traditional statistical domains we observe a rapid expansion of the data base for regional science research, to the extent that a gradual shift from basic thinking towards applied research is taking place.<br>One of the pioneers in regional science who has devoted a significant part of his scientific work to applied research has been the late Stan Czamanski (1918 - 2012). He was fascinated by the question of how to introduce space in a measurable way as a key variable or a structural component in socio-economic research at the sub-national level. Based on a solid conceptual framework of the space-economy, he was able to design operational macroeconomic regional accounts and regional input-output tables, which he used as practical instruments to map out complex spatial-economic phenomena. He grew up in the quantitative research tradition pioneered by Walter Isard, Wassilly Leontief and Lawrence Klein amongst others; they all tried to develop measurement models for studying industrial structures and (spatial-)economic linkages, inter alia by adjusting (inter-)national data to regional economies.<br>A prominent question will also be whether the unprecedented rise in spatially relevant data volumes leads to better insights into the complexity of the space-economy, leave aside whether this may lead to better policy decisions. To address this question, a two-day international Advanced Brainstorm Carrefour (ABC) workshop (in April 2019) was held in Tel- Aviv and Haifa in honor of the late Stan Czamanski. This meeting was organized by The Regional Science Academy (TRSA) and supported by the Tel- Aviv University and the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. The ABC workshop brought together scholars from all continents to reflect on the new data-analytics challenges of the post-Czamanski age. Both conceptual and applied studies addressing the above-mentioned challenges were welcomed at this fruitful meeting.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2021


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