Yuko Aoyama (Ph.D., UC-Berkeley) is an economic geographer with expertise in global economic change, technological innovation, industrial organization, and cultural economy. Her research interest lies in developing geographic understandings of global capitalisms from institutional and comparative perspectives. Through research on transnationalization of retailing and entrepreneurship, virtualization of logistics, as well as global competition in entrepreneurship and leisure/entertainment (the video game industry and cultural tourism), her work demonstrates how place specificity sustains market distinctiveness in spite of the increasing global integration of economies, in the USA, Japan, Germany, Spain, and India. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding how rationality of specific agents (i.e., users, consumers, entrepreneurs, artists) shapes contemporary market demand over time and across space, and how they in turn constitutes particular geographies of economic assets. Her most recent research focuses on the R&D alliances between multinational enterprises and non-governmental organizations in India.
Professor Aoyama has been awarded an Abe Fellowship from the Social Science Research Council, as well as research grants form the National Science Foundation (Geography and Spatial Science and Economics Programs), National Geographic Society, and the Association of Asian Studies. Since 2006, she has been an editor-in-chief of Economic Geography.
Professor Aoyama taught as faculty and guest lecturers at various venues globally, including the University of Georgia, Singapore Institute of Management summer program, and Japan Center for Michigan Universities. She was a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo and the University of Kyoto while she held Abe Fellowship (2001-02), and since 2000 she has been an Associate in Research at Harvard University, Reichauer Institute of Japanese Studies.
Professor Aoyama is originally from Tokyo, Japan. Having lived in four different regions of the world, she has also traveled extensively, to Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China (including Tibet), Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, and United Kingdom.