Last Rites

Local Economies and Market Areas

Geography 350 / Spring 1996
Total Points : 100

Please answer 5 (five) equally weighted questions (20%each), one from each section. For your selection of a question (where you have some choice) but also for all of your answers, please keep in mind that I am looking for both depth and breadth. Thus, please go beyond the confines of your project and provide some evidence that you have covered a broad cross-section of readings and have gained insights beyond those associated with your project. That includes the need to refer to and explain concepts covered in class whenever appropriate, and to be explicit as to the relevance of those concepts to your argument. Feel free to relegate any needed definition or explanation to a footnote (or a "box" or "segment") if you do not want to disrupt the flow of your writing. Since this is (for most of you) a "take-home" examination, all "rules of academic engagement" apply, i.e. sources should be properly cited at the end of each answer, your answers should be cleanly type-written (without undue corrections) and thoroughly edited and proofread.

I. Select one:
(1) What might be meant by the "income elasticity of the distance (and price) elasticity of demand". Why and in what way would this concept be significant in the determination of market areas for retail stores, shopping centers or public facilities?

(2) Explain why you might expect (what kind of?) changes (over time) and (what kind of?) variations (between different regions) in the size of local multipliers. In your response, please be systematic and explicit.

II. Select one:
(1) Explain, in detail and your own words, the purpose of Shift and Share analysis as well as the bases for distinguishing between differential effects (sometimes also called local-factor effects) and compositional effects (sometimes also called proportional or structural effects).

(2) Explain in detail and in your own words how you would go about using the Location Quotient for identifying
either (a) the basic activities of a community;
or (b) the regional (direct) coefficients for a regional I/O Table. Since this may be a very inexpensive way of analyzing local inter-industry linkages, be sure you also discuss the limitations of this method and the assumptions one would have to make.

III. Project Question or Alternative [Select one] 1. Here is another opportunity to connect your project-related work to the objectives of this class. From your project identify one or two crucial links which you have discussed / traced in your various write-ups (segments). While you may have created these links only empirically, numerically or intuitively, ultimately we are interested in explanation. Explanations are accomplished through theories theorizing. A "theory" according to Goodall, is

A high-order intellectual structure comprising a deductively connected set of laws and representing a more or less established or verified explanation...
Where would you suggest could you find, some explanations for your most important linkages?
[You need to form your own judgment as to whether you already have discussed the theoretical underpinnings of your project links (as originally requested for project segments # 2, 4, 5 and 6.) If you have, you may want to answer the next question].

2. Alternative Question: (if you feel that you have established a sufficient theoretical foundation for your project already, or that there is nothing you can or want to add):
No doubt, you are unhappy that this examination is not covering all the topics and materials which you have prepared yourself for. Here is your chance. Formulate your own question which touches on either or both of these major themes in the class: a) the role of structure and structural change b) the role of different time horizons in local economic analysis (e.g. short- versus long-run analysis).
[You will be graded both on the quality of the answer as well as the appropriateness and degree of sophistication of the question.]

IV. Input-Output or Networks: Select one
We used three different but overlapping conceptualizations and associated analytical tools to help us understand (some) economic interdependence concepts, namely

  1. Economic Base / Income Multiplier [see Section V]
  2. Graph Theory / Network Analysis
  3. Input-Output Analysis.
If you have not done so yet, here is your opportunity to demonstrate that you have understood these major foci of our class, both from a conceptual as well as basic analytical point of view. You need to answer either (Question "2" of) the Input-Output question or the (whole) Network question.

V. (Modified) Income Multiplier Question (no choice). Here I want you to
(a) explain (briefly) the different purpose of the three questions (What are these questions after?)
(b) answer the modified question #2 which will now read: " How does
(1) the Multiplier;
(2) the total income
change after we account for some remarkable changes occuring in our community. 60% of American Textile's wages go to workers retained and relocated from its former location into our community. Since relocating American textile employees work in higher positions and have higher average salaries, their propensity to spend money out-of-town is .3. The other 40% of the new wages go to workers recruited locally and largely consist of formerly unemployed spouses of Grey Cloth workers. The additional income earned by these (now two-wage-earner) households is half saved (or spent out-of-town), half spent locally.

BONUS (10 points maximum):
* Briefly review two Internet sites you may have used during this quarter, namely one for your project, the other for class preparations. Identify the URL and briefly (but specifically) suggest why this source was (or was not) helpful for your intended purposes.

* Briefly explain why (which?) readings were the best and (which?) the worst among the significant number of readings which were assigned. Try to be sufficiently specific about your reasons so that the feedback can be used for improvements in the selection. (Thanks!)

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May 30, 1996 []