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Fall 2010 - 61185 - PA393L - Advanced Policy Economics

Economics of Urban and Regional Policy

Instructor(s): Wilson, Robert H.
Unique Number: 61185
Day & Time: T 9:00 - 12:00 pm
Room: SRH 3.316/350
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Course Overview

Students are required to take an additional three-hour course in policy economics, selected from among a set of courses focusing on the application of economic theory and techniques to a specific area of public policy. Course options include macroeconomics, public finance, regulation, international trade and finance, natural resources and environmental policy, health policy, transportation policy, human resource development, urban and regional economic development, international development, education policy, social policy, and labor economics. Not all options are offered every year. This course is usually taken in the second year. 

Section Description

Economic structure and rates of economic growth vary across space, as observed in urban-rural, center city-suburb and interregional differentials. The course will provide an understanding of the theoretical explanations and empirical analyses of the functioning of spatial economies. Students are expected to acquire knowledge of the analytical frameworks and empirical techniques needed for investigating those aspects of urban and regional economies relevant to local, state, and federal governance and policy issues.

The course is introduced through a discussion of the evolution of the spatial economy and urban form in the United States. Various dimensions of contemporary economic change, including globalization, technological change, information and telecommunications, poverty, income distribution, and race/ethnicity inequalities, will be examined as well as their effects on cities and regions.

The following segment discusses theoretical and conceptual explanations for uneven economic development across space and theories of urban and regional economic growth. The economic determinants of urban form and suburbanization are also addressed. This segment also examines various analytical techniquesóincluding location quotients, input-output models, and regional econometric models-used in spatial analysis.

The final segment of the course is concerned with recent changes in intergovernmental relations and patterns of governance that affect cities, especially as they affect prospects for urban development. The roles of the federal, state, and local governments as well as community participation in the formation of development strategies and the relation of government, politics, and the economy are examined.

The course is most appropriate for students with interests in urban policy, regional and urban development, and state and local government. Students are evaluated on four pieces of work: a mid-term and final examination and two papers, one involving the empirical analysis of an urban economy and a second research paper on a policy issue. Although the course focuses principally on the US, some attention is given to spatial economies and urban policy in other countries and students can choose to write papers on non-US regions and policy issues.