Geography 302

GEOG 302

Catalog Entry

GEOG 302 Economic Geography. (SS)
Three hours lecture (3)

Introduction to principles governing distribution of economic activity. Emphasis on development of theoretical models and their real-world application. Includes transportation and land use models, principles of industrial location and dispersion of economic activity and urban location.

Meets the general education requirements for social science.


Detailed Description of Content of the Course

The major topics of this course fit a number of major concerns troubling the world during the contemporary period: population growth in the Third World, a shrinking store of non-renewable resources, deteriorating physical environment, widening disparity between rich and poor. To understand the effects of underlying phenomena upon the global economy and especially the shifts in location relationships they can be expected to produce, one needs to learn certain fundamental principles of spatial economics. They include processes by which land is allocated among prospective users, individual locations are selected, trade between regions and countries is generated and urban hierarchies emerge. This is what this course is devoted to.


Detailed Description of Conduct of the Course

This is primarily a lecture course. Still, some time in class is spent in discussion and debate. The initial topic for the discussion is one of the Global issues, e.g. food shortages in the world envisaged from the controversial perspectives of gratuitous aid vs. trade and equity vs. efficiency. Environmentalist's and economist's visions of world resources are also compared and discussed. Both the lectures and the textbook recommended concentrate on geographical themes unfolding regularities of the spatial economy, whereas world regions and/or nations are only invoked as examples to illustrate issues and conclusions. Therefore knowledge of regions is to be partly made up by the work on one's own. Specifically short papers and corresponding oral reports are to be assigned dealing with particular nations. These serve to highlight a position of a selected nation in a continuum of the development stages and/or a set of categories (population composition, energy balance, etc.) studied within each specific topic.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

The course endeavors to provide students with an opportunity to gain an appreciation of the interrelationships between geographic and economic factors on a global, national and regional scale. Students will be able

(1) to discuss/explain theoretical models of spatial distribution of economic activity and their application
(2) to categorize real-world problems in terms of spatial economics regularities.


Assessment Measures

Two midterm exams, one final exam, one research paper and one corresponding oral report constitute the workload in this class. The exams assess student command of the ideas and readings presented in the course. The paper and the corresponding oral report serve to assess a student's comprehension of a particular nation's position respective a specific topic.


Other Course Information




Date Action and Approved By
September 2005 Bernd H. Kuennecke