Oana Mihaescu

Oana Mihaescu

Head of research
Oana Mihaescu

Research areas

Economic geography, place attractiveness, retail location, city-suburb dichotomy, economic revival, regional spillovers, quantitative analysis.

Research description

My main research interest is in the field of economic geography, with focus on measuring place attractiveness and especially on the role of retailing in creating attractive places. During the latest years I have mainly studied the impact of large retailers on the attractiveness of Swedish cities and regions, as well as regional spillovers from increased trade. Additionally, I am interested in retail location with focus on the city-suburb dichotomy and particularly on the relationship between city centers and external shopping malls, the impacts of amenities and disamenities on property values, and economic revival proposals for small and medium-sized cities.

My research aims to answer questions like: How does entry by large retail centers impacts city attractiveness in city centers versus the urban periphery and rural areas? How can we measure place attractiveness? How do amenities and disamenities impact place attractiveness? Are there spillover effects in the retail industry, and what are their characteristics? How can we design effective financial support solutions for service in the rural areas?

These research questions are of interest today since many city centers are deteriorating as a result of increased urbanization and the proliferation of external shopping centers. This is problematic as city centers fulfill, especially in smaller cities, important social functions as not only shopping and entertainment, but also meeting places. Attractive city centers have also a better potential to attract tourists, businesses, investments, and employees, which means they can grow faster than less attractive cities.