Your Favorite "Location Quotient(s)"
DUE: April 29, 2003
OnLine: Noon, April 30 [with paper copy on May 1]
[Earlier completion is recommended so that it does not interfere with
- Go to: Resources for "Location
Definition and Formula
You may find some help for the interpretation of your results here:
Example (Washington State Transport Equipment Industry)
- Glossary [Location Quotient]
The purpose of this exercise is to gain a very basic
understanding of uneven geographic distributions and of the use of the
"location quotient" to measure such unevenness, however inadequately,
across regions within a country or across countries.
In the context of our class exercises and portfolio, the idea is to
some very initial empirical manifestations of
spatial concentration of some economic activity of your choice.
- Formulate one or two simple questions or propositions which are
related to the relative importance of some facet related to your topical
specialization or area of interest (e.g.
aerospace employment of legal services) in some local, regional or
national geographic context....)
- Identify one prime facet (and its regional "container" or "focal"
region or country) which directly relate(s) to what you might be after
or software development employment in Puget Sound Region;
Travel agencies in King County;
information service exports as part of total GNP or GDP of a country;
financial transactions as part of total balance of payments of a country,
- Think about which larger geographic context could or should be the basis
for a geographic comparison. Do not automatically select the United
States as a "benchmark" for comparison. What about the "world as a whole"
or a continent if you are interested in international facets. If you are
interested in the phenomenon of urban homelessness, it might be more
appropriate for your specific topic to compare
Seattle with all American cities, or all cities of a certain size or West
Coast cities only. If you can't make a decision between two
alternative benchmark regions, take them both and calculate two location
- Think about which larger "systematic" context could or should be the
basis for your comparison. If you are interested in aerospace
employment, total employment would probably be appropriate, but total
employment in manufacturing, high-tech manufacturing, or all employment
- Suggest, search for and find some data which you feel adequately
portrays your facet in a comparative geographic context (i.e. is
available for different levels of "systematic" and "geographic" aggregation.
- The search for appropriate data (whether it is ultimately the Census
Bureau, some other federal, state or local agency, some professional group
or non-profit organization, Chamber of Commerce, the World Bank, OECD, the
Asian Development Bank, etc. ), may be very
instructive as to who may also be interested in your topic and to what
extent the relative lack of data may have influenced the amount and nature
of past research into the nature of an uneven distribution.
- There are lots of data
sources some of which we are able to access through the Lab computers
(such as Internet
- Calculate two location quotients. For your second location
quotient, either select a second activity within the same
regional/interregional context, or, alternatively, take the same activity
as for your first LQ, but vary either the focal region or the benchmark
region. Be very explicit as to how you set-up and execute all of your
- Research & write two or more paragraphs of interpretation of your
results. As part of your write-up comment on the extent to which the
selection of your particular focal or benchmark region(s) and the type of
activity (e.g. level of aggregation) may have influenced
the size of your two different location quotients.
employment in health care services in the City of Seattle
total employment of Seattle
L.Q. Formula: =============================================
health care service employment in West Coast Cities
Total Employment of these West Coast cities
Suggested total length: 1 page.
- Anti-Plagiarism rules will be strictly enforced!
Barney's Statistical Wake-Up-Call
Barney the purple dinosaur spoke to the Association of American Criminal
Statisticians last week about the need to "get tough" with the numbers....
- Data Sites:
- Location Quotients:
"Identifying Service-Sector Exports from Major Texas Cities," Economic
Review (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas), July 1990.
Flegg, A.T., C.D. Webber, and M.V. Elliott, "On the Appropriate Use of
Location Quotients in Generating Regional Input-Output Tables," Regional
Studies 29(6), October 1995, pp.547-61.
Hoover, Regional Economics (Full text online)
Return to: Geography 207