Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 1 session / week, 2-3 hours / session

Seminar Description

The seminar is designed to provide advanced graduate students with a thorough understanding of selected regional economic theories and techniques and with experience in using alternative socioeconomic impact assessment models and related regional techniques on microcomputers. Discussions will be held on particular theoretical modeling and economic issues; linkages among theories, accounts, and policies; relationships between national and regional economic structures; and methods of adjusting and estimating regional input-output accounts and tables. Examples from the Boston area and other U.S. cities/regions will be used to illustrate points throughout the seminar. We will also examine how such models are used in other countries. New material on analyzing regional development issues will be covered.

We will use a state-of-the-art regional microcomputer package, Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI), by George I. Treyz, which Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) staff use for their investment-impact analyses. Regional analysts throughout the United States make extensive use of this package.

Students will do three problem sets. During the first part of the seminar, we will provide students with appropriate data for them to analyze and evaluate the Massachusetts regional economy and to test the computer-software package. During the last part of the seminar, students will extend their initial analysis to assess socioeconomic impacts of Boston investment projects, the exact projects to be selected by members of the class in collaboration with the BRA staff. Students will give a formal presentation to the BRA research staff at the end of the semester.

Grading Information

The weights for the final grade are as follows:

Problem set 1 20%
Problem set 2 25%
Problem set 3 30%
Class presentations 15%
Preparation and presentation to the BRA 10%


The following scores, which will be weighted and averaged for the term, will be given on the problem sets.

95-100 A
90-94 A-
85-89 B+
80-84 B
75-79 B-
70-74 C+
65-69 C


Suggested Books to Purchase

Buy at Amazon Isard, Walter, Iwan J. Azis, Matthew P. Drennen, Ronald E. Miller, Sidney Saltzman, and Erik Thorbecke. Methods of Interregional and Regional Analysis. Aldershot, England: Ashgate, 1997. ISBN: 9781859724101.

Buy at Amazon Krugman, Paul. "Center and Periphery." In Geography and Trade. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1992. ISBN: 9780262610865.

Buy at Amazon ———. "Geography Lost and Found," and "Appendix." In Development, Geography, and Economic Theory. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995. ISBN: 9780262112031.

Buy at Amazon Miller, Ronald E., and Peter D. Blair. Input-Output Analysis: Foundations and Extensions. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1984. ISBN: 9780134667157.

Buy at Amazon Treyz, George I. Regional Economic Modeling: A Systematic Approach to Economic Forecasting and Policy Analysis. New York, NY: Springer, 1993. ISBN: 9780792393825.

Required readings are available in the readings section.