Greetings and Welcome Aboard!

An Introduction To Geography 450
("Location Theories")


"I have a bias against general systems, general theories, general structures. It seems what we need mostly today in economics is not to build upwards, toward general systems and theories, but rather to build downwards, toward some understanding of the individual decision-making units and their actions and interactions." (Roland Artle)

Brief Course Description:
While Geography 450 is based on the premise that "location" still matters, it also explores how this premise has changed for different economic activities due to advances in transportation and communications technologies. The class surveys many of the location and spatial concepts which have become the theoretical foundation of much of the work in Social, Human and Economic Geography. We will derive basic micro-economic, decision-theoretical, managerial, organizational- and transaction- theoretical principles underlying consumer, commercial, industrial and governmental behavior in physical, economic, transportation and communication (including cyber-) space. We will discuss these principles in the context of past, contemporary and foreward-looking conceptual frameworks.

This theoretical discussion will draw upon "real world" examples from a wide variety of specific spatial choice situations, including choices related to residence, recreation, employment, migration, communications (education, advertising, location on the Web), shopping, marketing, health care, and industrial investments. The discussion will cover (potentially) all spatially-significant activities in the private, corporate and public sectors, including spatial behaviors affected by government regulations, i.e. spatial behaviors in uncertain, complex and ambiguous environments at local, national and international levels. Some background or a strong interest in microeconomics (Econ 200/300) or economic geography (Geography 207) is highly desirable.

Geography 450 is a highly conceptual and theoretical course requiring a significant degree of rigor and mental discipline. The class is structured on the basis of the instructor's belief and four decades of experience that you have a better chance of taking something worthwhile away from this class if you 'take charge' and assume a substantial degree of responsibility for your own achievements in critical thinking. Given this emphasis on your personal learning outcomes, join us for an active and interactive learning experience in the "Collaboratory"!

Major Course Objectives:

At the end of this course, you should be able to:

In general, I want you to leave this class with a lot more and at least slightly more sophisticated questions than those with which you arrived.

You will find more detailed class objectives and expected outcomes here

Prerequisites: A strong interest in explanation and theory formulation in economic geography, and a 200- or 300-level background in micro-economics and/or economic geography (Econ.200 or 300 or Geog.207 or 350). If you are not sure whether your background and motivation are sufficient, ask me (E-mail:


Texts and Readings:

While there is no paper-text required to be bought for this class, you may want to consider to enhance your library through the purchase of books which YOU consider worth owing. Note that not all relevant books are on Reserve:
Book TitleAccess Required or Optional? That Depends...!
The Web Book of Regional Science [Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University] (geography, economics, sociology) is comprised of about twenty regional science contributions covering diverse subjects such as regional networks, land use, migration, regional specialization... Each book is completely accessible by Internet and includes a bibliography as well as links to other sites.
Hoover, Edgar M. and Frank Giarratani, An Introduction to Regional Economics [Full text of 3rd, 1985 edition of the classic!] [for Geog 450: Chs 2-8] Required text (Online). Required Readings: Chapters 2-6; Optional: 7 & 8

  • Essential Principles of Economics: A Hypermedia Text [Second Revised Draft, 1998, William King (Drexel)] [An OnLine Introductory Text]

  • Microeconomic Topics
  • Having a micro-economics text for reference purposes at your fingertips will be helpful for all
  • Dicken & Lloyd, Location in Space, 3rd edition, 1990 (pink) [HF1025.D53]
  • This 207 text (used by Professor Beyers in his Geography 207 class) is a recommended purchase for all 450 students without Geography 207 background or without an alternative text in economic geography with a good emphasis on location theory, such as Stutz (below)
    Golledge, Reginald G. and Robert J. Stimson, Spatial Behavior: A Geographic Perspective. New York: Guilford Press, 1997. [GF95.G65.1997] [ ($40)] [More Details] Contains required readings. "This is not a book oriented toward a single narrow viewpoint; it is certainly not Marxist or materialist; it is somewhat realist; it is partly postmodern; it has elements of positivism; it draws in part on the tradition of spatial analysis; but above all, it focuses on decision making and choice behavior. We have no ideological axe to grind in this book. We think it reflects a lot of geography as it is done today." (Preface, p.vii)
    Hayter, Roger. The Dynamics of Industrial Location: The Factory, the Firm and the Production System. Wiley 1997. Contains required readings.
  • Johnston, R.J. et al., Dictionary of Human Geography. Blackwell, 4th ed., 2000; or 3rd ed, 1994. [ Amazon's U.K.Page (with reviews)]
  • This book has been a text for this class in the past; it is still useful as reference
  • Malecki, Edward J., Technology & Economic Development: The Dynamics of Local, Regional and National Competitiveness. 1991/ 2nd edition, Longman 1997. [HC79.T4.M346]
  • Optional; This excellent book provides the conceptual context for those of you who are interested in regional economic development and in linking the "micro-approach" of this class to more "macro" perspectives. Ask instructor for other books which may perform a similar role for those of you interested in other subfields of Economic Geography.
  • Stutz, F.P. and A.R. de Souza, The World Economy: Resources, Location, Trade, and Development. 3rd ed., Prentice Hall, 1998.
  • This or another alternative 207 text should be on the shelf of any student taking this class (also those with 207 background)

    Other Books on Reserve in OUGL: (Some of these books may also be available in theUW Bookstore or at

    The list of books which are "on Reserve" for Geog.450 in the Undergraduate Library (OUGL) can be found in the UW Library Catalog (Search for Krumme).

    Further locational references & literature

    Course Outline:

    Last Day of Class: December 11 (All assignments due!)

    Final in-Class Examination:

    Take-Home Examination due:

    Old 450 Examinations

    The presentation of the syllabus on this Internet "Home Page", particularly the interconnected, "hypertextual" nature of its organization, may convey the impression of an excessively demanding and complex class. Once you get the "hang" of clicking your way from place to place, you will appreciate the quantity and detail of information about this class and its content and the simplicity of its logistics.

    This Internet presentation comes to you courtesy of a large amount of your instructor's "spare time". Please accept the challenge of this new communications medium, its still experimental use in this class, and the fact that electronic transactions and telecommunications services are part of our concern in Economic & Business Geography; try to understand the benefits and drawbacks of this educational technology, make suggestions for its improved use and, as an up-and-coming economic geographer, experiment yourself with the substitution of physical and virtual forms of spatial interaction. Most of all: Enjoy! :-)

    "The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up." (Ogden's Law)

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