1996 Midterm for Geography 350

Instructions: You have 40 minutes (2x20) + 10 minutes preparation time. Please read the whole test before starting to write and select questions so as to be able to reveal the depth of your understanding.

This test has three parts. Parts I and II will be done today in class, Part III (one topic) is due next Thursday at 4:30 (But only if you attend Tuesday's lecture; otherwise, the due-date is Tuesday 4:30). Part one requires closed books. Thus please hand in your response to Part I after completion and before you intend to open and use your notebook for Part II (which you may).

Part I: Terms, Concepts and Names:

Select five of the following terms or sets of terms, define their inherent conceptual meaning and explain as well as possible their analytical role in the context of our class objectives. (4 points each = 20 points)

a "region"
Engel's Law
transition matrix
dependent variable
quaternary activity
total fertility rate (TFR)
coefficient of specialization
productivity, labor productivity
compositional versus differential effect (S&S)
cohort versus life stage (in demographic analysis)

Part II: Select one question: (20 points)

(1) Suggest what the explanatory foundation of (what we may want to call) the "Three-Sector-Hypothesis" may be, i.e. the proposition that the relative importance of the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors of an economy changes in regular ways culminating in the dominance of the tertiary or service sector. In other words, where would you be looking for the causes for these suggested shifts in employment?

or: (2) Develop some hypothetical but plausible data related to your area of specialization and calculate one or more (again: plausible) location quotient(s). Interpret your results (i.e. the meaning of the location quotient in your specific context) as if you would be a local economic consultant formulating your final report for your client.

or: (3) Discuss the difficulties involved in projecting future demographic developments in small regions.

or: (4) How does the degree of aggregation in your underlying classifications affect the analytical results in selected methods of regional ("compositional") analysis? Make general statements if you can, but also refer to specific tools and methods covered in class or readings (such as the L.Q., Coefficient of Specialization, or Shift-Share analysis).

or: (5) Diversification of a region's export activities would necessarily reduce the region's vulnerability to business downturns. Do you agree? if not, why not?

Part III: Take-Home Question:

(Length, format and submission procedures for this assignments are the same as for our regular project related papers, incl. the documentation of sources you might use. Difference: Due date next Thursday ["enforced", no exceptions]. Starting with this midterm assignment, I want you to take the project instructions and due dates more seriously.)

Now that you have (hopefully) finished Project Segment #2 and got a good overview of the academic and conceptual literature in your area of reference, received a first taste of the economic base model, and have read the handed-out articles on models ("Models: A General Discussion", Ch.2 of Stockey and Zeckhauser, Primer for Policy Analysis) , we want to begin with the process of making connections in the direction of our individual areas of reference (without entirely reaching it during this stage!!)

Please discuss (in as concrete terms as you can) the possibilities of developing an economic base model or a component of such a model which would help you make such connections. Start with your readings (incl. Davis, Tiebout etc.) and your class notes and make sure you have a good understandi economic base models (Please convey this understanding).

Only then should you begin to articulate and differentiate the model in a way which permits the incorporation of some generic facets of your area of reference or specialization (not the specific object itself). To drive the point home, your modeling and write-up should not be concerned with your relationships in terms of specific links but between relatively generic categories. Here I do NOT want to find the specifics of your project at all: i.e. no mention of the Commons, Sea-Tac, Nordstrom, Seattle, RTA, the Mariners, your company etc. You get my drift? You may deal with urban parks (and different types of parks), the retail sector (and different kinds of retailing), urban transportation (and different types of urban transportation), the entertainment sector and different types of entertainment), different kinds of insurance or financial sector activities..... (get it?) The point is that we want to establish the general outlines of a model which is sufficiently differentiated to handle your cup of tea, eventually.

You will have to decide and justify which variables (or sets of different variables) are likely to be the appropriate connecting variables (number of warm bodies, $$$, decibels, pollutants, hotel beds, miles, days, number of businesses, tons of output etc.)? Your conceptual (segments #2 and #4) and your data research (segment #3) should help you here. If not, you will have to go back to those stages and deal with them, i.e. you will have to explore what (other) conceptual distinctions might be needed or useful or have been suggested in the literature (and why). In addition, we want to get an understanding of the relationships between conceptual needs and data availability. How good is the match? Can or should you use published data or do you have to collect your own data?

Strongly recommended: Sketch your linkages in a graph!

Other hints: The pamphlet by Caffrey and Isaacs presents for the University Economy what we are trying to do for the local economy in a less elaborate way. But the basic idea is the same: develop interconnected submodels. Two other, somewhat less instructive examples are in the back of the blue folder (also on Reserve) dealing with the Mariners and Boeing. Other examples are connected to our 350 Web pages.

The checkout period for Reserve Books has been reduced to 2 hours for this coming week (enforced)! Good Luck ;-)

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[April 25, 1996; krumme@u.washington.edu]