The purpose of this research grant is to facilitate a data gathering that will be used for the measurement and subsequent analysis of (change in) the ‘world city network’. Myriad measurement frameworks have been proposed in the literature, but arguably the most commonly cited approach is that of the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) research network, of which the applicant is an associate director. Following the seminal work of Sassen, in this approach cities are assumed to be hierarchically interconnected through relations between offices of globalized producer services firms in finance, consultancy, accountancy, advertising, law, and media. Data on the location strategies of service firms are used as the input in a network model that results in proxied values of knowledge flows between cities. In practice this implies that data are gathered on the (importance of the) presence of globalized service firms. In previous data gatherings, this information was garnered for 525 and 200 firms. The research grant would be used to enable a new data gathering in early 2016 to help this ongoing measurement project on track. The data gathering is a relatively straightforward, yet labor-intensive exercise that has since 2010 between carried out in conjunction with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) in Beijing. Resources will be used for (1)
employing a number of students at Ghent University and (2) to facilitate travel to three workshops in Beijing.