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Spring 2012 - 62150 - PA393L - Advanced Policy Economics

Economics of Urban and Regional Policy

Instructor(s): Wilson, Robert H.
Unique Number: 62150
Day & Time: Th 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 geography, as observed in urban-rural, center city-suburb and interregional differentials. The course will explore the theories and empirical analyses used to explain how spatial economies function. By the end of the course, students should be able to employ analytical frameworks and empirical techniques to investigate aspects of urban and regional economies that are relevant to local, state, and federal policy issues.

The evolution of the spatial economy and urban form in the United States is discussed in the first segment of the course. Various dimensions of contemporary economic change, including globalization, technology, information and telecommunications, poverty, income distribution, and race/ethnicity inequalities, as well as their effects on cities and regions, will be examined. The following segment discusses theoretical and conceptual explanations for uneven economic development across space and of urban and regional economic growth. Various analytical techniques—including location quotients, input-output models, and regional econometric models—used in spatial analysis will be discussed. Then economic determinants of urban form, land use and neighborhood choice are addressed. The course then shifts to an explicit focus on public policy in urban and metropolitan areas, including growth management and urban sustainability. The roles of federal, state, and local governments—as well as low-income communities—in the formation of development strategies.

The course is most appropriate for students with interests in urban policy, regional and urban development, and state and local government. Although the course focuses on the US, attention is given to spatial economies and urban policy in other countries and students can choose to write a paper on cities outside the US.

Students will be evaluated on four types of work--two take home exams, one paper (including the oral presentation of the paper), a memorandum, and class participation.