Working Group Economic Geography

Huiwen Gong



  PhD student
Room 24, HRS9, ground floor
Phone +49 431 880-4039
Fax +49 431 880-5290
Address Geographisches Institut
Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Hermann-Rodewald-Str. 9
24098 Kiel


Focus of research

  • Creative industries (particularly video games industry), creativity
  • Theories and debates of Economic Geography
  • Co-evolution of institutions and industries


My research focuses on the co-evolutionary process of the video game industry development and the dynamics of the institutional environments. Like other concepts such as path dependence, related variety, lock-in, selection, and variation, co-evolution remains a key concept in evolutionary economic geography. However, while there have been some discussion on the concept in theoretical writings in economic geography, empirical research on this notion is scarce. To fill this gap, this research focuses on the co-evolutionary relationships between a creative industry--the video game industry, and its broader supporting institutional environments. The research is based on theories from many disciplines such as evolutionary economics, institutional theories and economic sociology. By bringing insights from multiple disciplines, this project aims at answering the following questions: 1) how did (do) the video game industry evolve in Shanghai and Hamburg? 2) How did (do) the supporting institutional environment change over time in both cases? 3) What's the impact of video game industry development on the dynamics of institutions, and vice versa?

Current research project: 

The Evolution of Creative Industry Clusters (ECIC) - A Comparison of Cases in Germany and China.

Qualification & Employment


  • 2017.08: LSE Summer School on Research Methods (Qualitative Methods), London, UK

  • 2016.08: Young Economic Geographers Network Workshop on Regional Development, Innovation and Inequality, organized by the department of geography, University of Bern, Switzerland.

  • 2016.05: Jena Lecture Series in Economic Geography, co-organized by the departments of geography and economics in Jena University, Germany

  • 2016.02: Northen German PhD Course in Economic Geography, University of Bremen, Germany

  • 2015.09-11: National PhD Course in Economic Geography in Göteborg, Uppsala and Lund, Sweden, organizers:  Jerker Moodysoon (Lund University), Patrik Ström and Martin Henning (University of Göteborg), and  sjöholm & Johan Jansson (Uppsala University)

  • 2012-2015 Master of Human Geography, Zhejiang University, China "Regional Competitiveness based on 'Wheel Hub Model' and Empirical Analysis", supervised by: Prof. Pingbin Jin

  • 2008-2012 Bachelor of Resources Environment and Management of Urban and Rural Planning, Quanzhou Normal University, China (with First Class Honor)


Additional Qualifications (Academic Projects Engaged)

  • Engaged in the investigation, and the writing of the fifth Chapter of the planning project of Tourism plotting and Conceptual Planning of the First Battlefield of Opium War, Dinghai, Zhoushan. 2013-2014.
  • Engaged in the investigation, group discussion and the text writing of the project of Tourism improvement planning of Baizhangtan Scenic Spot, Pan'an, Jinhua. Oct.—Dec., 2013.



  • HASSINK, R., X. HU, D-H. SHIN, S. YAMAMURA, H. GONG (2017) The restructuring of old industrial areas in East Asia. Area Development and Policy Link
  • HASSINK, R. & H. GONG (2017)​ Sketching the Contours of an Integrative Paradigm of Economic Geography. Lund: CIRCLE, Papers in Innovation Studies, Paper no. 2017/12. Link
  • GONG, H., R. HASSINK, G. MAUS (2017) What does Pokémon Go teach us about geography? Geographica Helvetica 72, 227-230. Link
  • GONG, H. & R. HASSINK (2017) Exploring the clustering of creative industries. European Planning Studies. Link
  • HASSINK, R. & H. GONG (2017) New economic geography. In: Orum, A.M., M. Garcia, D. Judd, B. Roberts, P.C. Piew (eds.), Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Studies. London: Wiley-Blackwell (forthcoming).
  • GONG, H. & R. HASSINK (2017) Regional Resilience: the Critique Revisited. In: Williams, N. and T. Vorley (eds.), Creating Resilient Economies: Entrepreneurship, Growth and Development in Uncertain Times. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 206-216. Link
  • HASSINK, R. & GONG, H. & F. FALLER (2016): Can we learn anything from economic geography proper? Yes, we can! Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography #16.22, Utrecht University. Link
  • GONG, H. (2016): Places and Spaces in the weightless economy. Working Papers on Innovation and Space, Marburg University. Link
  • GONG, H. & R. HASSINK (2016): What drives the geographies of creative industries? From literature review to research agenda. Link
  • Gong,H., Q, Ji., & P.Jin (2015). Changes of the spatial-temporal patterns of the FDI in Eastern and Central parts of China. Journal of Zhejiang University (Natural Science edition), 42(5): 595-604



  • 2017. 04: Buzz or quietness, what matters for creativity? Evidence from the video games industry in Shanghai. In: Annual conference of American Association of Geographers (AAG), Boston, USA
  • 2017. 03: Buzz or quietness, what matters for creativity? Evidence from the video games industry in Shanghai. In: Norddeutsches WiGeo Doktorandenkolloquium,  Kiel Germany 
  • 2016.08: The co-evolution of a creative industry and its supporting institutional environments-- the cases of video game industries in Shanghai and Hamburg. In: Young Economic Geographers Network Workshop, Bern, Switzerland
  • 2016.06: The co-evolution of routine diffusions and institutional changes in creative clusters-- the cases of video game clusters in Shanghai and Hamburg. In: Human Geography PhD colloquium, Kiel
  • 2016.05: Where is the geography in the weightless economy? A reflection on the new media industry. In: Jena Lecture Series in Economic Geography 2016, Germany
  • 2016.02: What drives the geography of creative industries? From literature review to research agenda. In: Norddeutsches WiGeo Doktorandenkolloquium,  Bremen, Germany
  • 2015.11: What drives the clustering of creative industries? The cases of the video game industry in Shanghai and Hamburg. In: Swedish National PhD Course: Research Frontiers in Contemporary Economic Geography, Sweden
  • An Empirical Study of Market Segmentation and its Determinants since China's Entering WTO. Annual Academic Conference of Chinese Human Geography, Oct. 2014.