School of Economics

Cities, Trade and Productivity (ESRC New Investigator Grant)

Dr Andrei Potlogea (University of Edinburgh), together with co-investigator Dr Alvaro Felipe García Marín (Universidad de los Andes), has secured an ESRC New Investigator Grant for a project titled "Cities, Trade and Productivity".

Dr Andrei Potlogea (University of Edinburgh) and Dr Alvaro Felipe Garcia Marín (Universidad de los Andes) have been successful in their application for the ESRC New Investigator Grant. Their funded project begins on 1st of September 2022, and will run for 36 months.  

Cities, Trade and Productivity 

This project falls at the intersection of economic geography and international trade. Trade and regional policies have been at the centre of public debate in many countries in recent years, as the relatively slow recovery from the Great Recession has unfolded. In particular, substantial sections of the public in advanced economies such as the US and the UK have started to support a combination of more protectionist international trade policies and more aggressive "place based" policies aimed at reducing inequality both across places and across people within their countries. Against this backdrop, “Cities, Trade and Productivity” aims to inform the debate surrounding optimal geographic and international trade policies by studying the interactions between the forces that shape trade flows and the determinants of within-country economic geography. An improved understanding of these forces will prove useful for policy design across several policy areas, including trade, urban planning, and regional cohesion policies.  

The project will aim to answer the following questions: 

(1) What are some of the key stylised facts that characterise the within-country geography of international trade activities as well as the geography of within-country trade flows? 

(2) What are the economic mechanisms that explain these regularities?  

(3) Does an improved understanding of these mechanisms materially change our estimates of the productivity and welfare implications of several often-discussed policies, including planning and place based policies aimed at reducing regional disparities, as well as alternative international trade arrangements? 

ESRC New Investigator Grant

New investigator grants support new researchers at the start of their careers to become independent researchers through gaining experience of managing and leading research projects and teams.  

Successful applications are selected for their originality and potential contribution to knowledge, as well as clear research design and methods. 

Further information

For more information about this project, or if you are a member of research staff a the University and are interested in applying for a New Investigator Grant, please contact  

For resources for preparing your grant application and more, follow the link below to our dedicated SharePoint:  

Resources for Economics Researchers