0403 Specialization Course - Applied Economic Geography and Case Studies
Univ.Prof. Dr. Jürgen Essletzbichler, Linda Li, BA, MSc (WU)
  • LV-Typ
  • Semesterstunden
  • Unterrichtssprache
02.09.2020 bis 10.09.2020
Anmeldung über LPIS
Hinweise zur LV
Planpunkt(e) Bachelor
Wochentag Datum Uhrzeit Raum
Donnerstag 15.10.2020 13:00 - 16:00 TC.4.15
Freitag 16.10.2020 10:00 - 13:00 LC.-1.038
Donnerstag 22.10.2020 13:00 - 16:00 TC.4.14
Freitag 23.10.2020 10:00 - 13:00 D2.-1.019 Workstation-Raum
Donnerstag 29.10.2020 13:00 - 16:00 TC.4.15
Freitag 30.10.2020 10:00 - 13:00 LC.-1.038
Donnerstag 05.11.2020 13:00 - 16:00 TC.4.15
Freitag 06.11.2020 10:00 - 13:00 LC.-1.038
Donnerstag 12.11.2020 13:00 - 16:00 TC.4.14
Freitag 13.11.2020 10:00 - 13:00 LC.2.064 Raiffeisen Kurslabor
Donnerstag 19.11.2020 13:00 - 16:00 TC.4.14
Donnerstag 03.12.2020 13:00 - 16:00 TC.4.14
Donnerstag 17.12.2020 13:00 - 16:00 TC.4.14
Donnerstag 07.01.2021 13:00 - 16:00 TC.4.14
Donnerstag 14.01.2021 13:00 - 16:00 TC.4.14

Ablauf der LV bei eingeschränktem Campusbetrieb

If we have to, due to COVID-19, we will change the format of the class to a rotational mode, subdividing you into smaller groups (2-3) and teaching you one group after another.

Inhalte der LV

This course critically engages with theories of uneven spatial development and provides the methodological tools to visualize and explain the evolution of the European space economy. The course will show how changing historical-economic contexts such as globalization, theoretical developments in the field of urban and regional economics and economic geography as well as empirical analysis and results have influenced EU spatial policy moving from policies to promote regional economic convergence and catch up of peripheral regions to those based on smart specialization strategies.

One of the key features of this course is the translation of theoretical concepts and ideas into empirical research. Students will learn and do applied spatial analysis! The seminars will introduce publicly available spatial data from EUROSTAT, Cambridge Econometrics and other sources, as well as basic GIS tools to obtain and manipulate spatial boundary (map) files. Moreover, students will be taught to independently apply various techniques (e.g. cluster mapping, spatial econometrics) to empirically examine aspects of regional economic development in the European Union.

Lernergebnisse (Learning Outcomes)

• To understand the relevance of a spatial approach to economics
• To evaluate the strength and weaknesses of different theoretical approaches
• To write response papers to academic papers
• To use response papers to sharpen your arguments during class discussions
• To use theory to develop and identify a geographic research problem
• To understand the distinctiveness of spatial data
• To learn about and work with publicly available spatial data
• To learn about and apply spatial methodological tools to visualize, identify and explain spatial patterns and processes of economic change
• To find out more about the EU spatial economic and social policies
• To understand the concept of SMART specialization as regional development tool

Regelung zur Anwesenheit

Compulsory attendance

  • Courses with continuous Assessment (PI) must be attended.
  • No more than 25% of the duration of the course can be compensated with additional homework in the case of missing because of important reasons. A confirmation (e.g. doctor's certificate) can be requested. It is not possible to pass the course in the case of missing more than 25% of the duration.

Important reasons for missing are defined as those which a student cannot prevent, e.g. falling ill, accident or death of a close relative. Job related reasons for absence cannot be excused.


The course is structured in lectures and seminars: There will be lectures  and discussion sessions of students in the lecture units. The seminar units  involve data handling exercises and applied spatial analysis in computer labs.


Course Outline:

Date Lecture/Seminar Topic
15.10. L1/L2 Introduction: Globalization and the end of geography? / EU regions in a globalizing world
16.10. S1 Introducing spatial data
22.10. L3/D1 Regional growth theory
23.10. S2 Exploring spatial data
29.10. L4/D2 Polarisation theories
30.10. S3 Looking for statistical relations
05.11. L5/D3 New economic geography
06.11. S4 Spatial regressions
12.11. L6/D4 Endogenous development: Evolution and institutions
13.11. S5 Exercises in empirical research
19.11. L7/D5 From space-blind to smart development policies
03.12. Feedback Feedback on Research Proposals
17.12. Feedback Feedback on Research Proposals

L=Lecture; D=Discussion of Papers; S=Computer seminars; P=Student presentations.

Leistung(en) für eine Beurteilung

In order to pass the course, students are expected to attend and participate in all lectures and computer practical sessions. The total mark consists of: 

• 25% Five short response papers (10-15 lines, for structure: see below) DUE: Beginning of the class, in electronic form (PDF)
• 15% Class participation (e.g. in discussion sessions)
• 10% One paragraph summary of idea and research question, in electronic form DUE: 30.11.20, online and
           Two page summary of research proposal, in electronic form DUE: 14.12.20, online
• 10%  presentation of final report (digital), DUE: 07.01.21 and 14.01.21
• 40% Research report, DUE: 14.1.21


points grade
≥87.5 excellent
75.0 - <87.5 good
62.5 - <75.0 satisfactory
50.0 - <62.5 sufficient
<50 fail


There is NO EXAM for this module. Instead there are a number of assessed components including participation in discussion, brief summaries of readings, presentation and group research report.

Teilnahmevoraussetzung(en) und Vergabe von Wartelistenplätzen

Some basic data handling skills (e.g., in EXCEL) are necessary. Basic knowledge of quantitative data analysis or econometrics are recommended. If the module is oversubscribed, please contact

Empfohlene inhaltliche Vorkenntnisse

The course is a stand alone course. Although there will be overlaps with the content of "Einführung in die Wirtschaftsgeographie", completion of this course is not essential.


Response papers:

In total there will be five discussion sessions (see course outline above). Each discussion session is based on the lectures and one assigned reading. You have to write very short response papers on the readings.

Structure of Response Papers:

• First paragraph (3-5 sentences): Describe the content of the paper correctly and clearly. Summarize the research questions, goals, methods and conclusion of the paper.

• Second paragraph (3-5 sentences): Discuss one or two interesting points the paper makes and explain why these are so convincing. - What is really good in the paper?

• Third paragraph (3-5 sentences): Explain what the paper lacks and show what could be improved. Make clear why the lacking idea is important and how it would change the paper. Show how your improvement would benefit the paper. – What is there to criticize and improve?

Layout and necessary information to include:

• Choose appropriate font style and size so the resulting PDF is NO more than one page long.

• Include your name and student id as well as a correct and full reference of the scientific paper the response paper refers to and possible additional papers you cite. You can use any specific citation style as long as it is consistent.

Readings for Response Papers and class discussions:

Lecture 3/Discussion 1: Growth theory

Glaeser, E., Kallal, H. D., Scheinkman, J. A. and Shleifer, A. (1992). Growth in Cities. Journal of Political Economy 100.6: 1126-1152.

Lecture 4/Discussion 2: Polarisation theory

Ying, L. G. (2000). Measuring the spillover effects: Some Chinese evidence. Papers in Regional Science 79: 75-89.

Lecture 5/Discussion 3: New Geographical Economics

Lawson, V. (2010). Reshaping Economic Geography? Producing Spaces of Inclusive Development. Economic Geography 86: 351-360.


Zheng, S. and Kahn, M. (2013). China’s bullet trains facilitate market integration and mitigate the cost of megacity growth. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110: E1248-E1253.

Lecture 6/Discussion 4: Endogenous development: Evolution and institutions

Frenken, K., Van Ooort, F. and Verburg, T. (2007). Related variety, unrelated variety and regional economic growth. Regional Studies 41.5: 685-697.

Lecture 7/Discussion 5: From space-blind to smart development policies

Rodriguez-Pose, A. and Wilkie, C. (2017). Revamping Local and Regional Development Through Place-Based Strategies. Cityscape 19.1: 151-170.

Frei definierbares Kommentierungsfeld

For essential information regarding your group project, see the corresponding file in the information section of the download section.

Detailinformationen zu einzelnen Lehrveranstaltungseinheiten

Einheit Datum Inhalte

Lecture 1:

Coe, N.M., Kelly, P.F., and H.W.C. Yeung (2007). Economic Geography, Chapter 1.

Dinc, M. (2015). Introduction to Regional Economic Development. Edward Elgar. Chapter 1.

Essletzbichler, J. (2007). Economic geography. Entry in Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology.

Mackinnon, D. and Cumbers, A. (2007). An Introduction to Economic Geography. Globalization, Uneven Development and Place. Pearson. Chapter 1.


Lecture 2:

Maier, G., Tödtling, F., and Trippl, M. (2012). Regional- und Stadtökonomik 2. Springer. Chapter 10.

Pain, K. and Hamme, G.van (2014). Changing Urban and Regional Relations in a Globalizing World. Edward Elgar. Chapter 1.

The Pain and von Hamme book includes lots of relevant chapters for this topic.

Coe, N.M., Kelly, P.F., and H.W.C. Yeung (2007). Economic Geography, Chapters 4,5.

Mackinnon, D. and Cumbers, A. (2007). An Introduction to Economic Geography. Globalization, Uneven Development and Place. Pearson. Chapter 5.

Storper, M. (1997). The Regional World. chapter 8.


Lecture 3:

Maier, G., Tödtling, F., and Trippl, M. (2012). Regional- und Stadtökonomik 2. Springer. Chapter 4,6.

Martin, R. (2001). EMU versus the regions: Regional convergence and divergence in Euroland. Journal of Economic Geography 1: 51-80.

Martin, R. and Sunley, P. (1998) Slow convergence? The new endogenous growth theory and regional development. Economic Geography 74: 201-227.

Tondl, G. (2001) Convergence After Divergence? Regional Growth in Europe. Springer.



Lecture 4:

Maier, G., Tödtling, F., and Trippl, M. (2012). Regional- und Stadtökonomik 2. Springer. Chapter 4,6.

Hirschman, A.O. (1958) The Strategy of Economic Development. Yale University Press. New Haven

Kaldor, N. (1970). The case for regional policies. Scottish Journal of Political Economy 18: 337-348. [uses Myrdal’s idea of cumulative causation]

Myrdal, G. (1957). Economic Theory and Underdevelopment. Duckworth.

Perroux, F. (1970). Notes on the concept of "growth poles". In: L. McKee, R. D. Dean and W. H. Leahy. Regional economics. Theory and practice. D. New York, The Free Press: 93-103.


Lecture 5:

Brakman, S. and Garretson, H. (2003). Rethinking the “new” geographical economics. Regional Studies 37: 637-648.

Dinc, M. (2015) Introduction to Regional Economic Development. Edward Elgar, Chapter 2.

Duranton, G. (2004). Micro foundations of agglomeration economies. In: Handbook of Urban and Regional Economics. Edition 1, volume 4, chapter 48.

Glaeser, E., Kalal, H., Schleifer, J. and Schenkman, A. (1992). Growth in cities. Journal of Political Economy 100: 1126-1152.

Martin, R. and Sunley, P. (1996) Paul Krugman´s geographical economics and its implications for regional development theory: A critical assessment. Economic Geography 72: 259-292.

OECD (2009). How Regions Grow. OECD: Paris.

Storper, M., Kemeny T., Makarem N. P., and Osman, T. (2015) Divergent Development. The conceptual challenge. In: Storper et al.. The Rise and Fall of Urban Economies. chapter 2.


Lecture 6:


Storper, M. (1997). The Regional World, Chapter 3.

Bathelt, H., Malmberg, A., and Maskell, P. (2004). Clusters and knowledge: Local buzz, global pipelines and the process of knowledge creation. Progress in Human Geography 28: 31-56

Bathelt, H. and Glückler, J (2003) Towards a relational economic geography. Journal of Economic Geography 3:117-144.

Burt, R. (1997) The contingent value of social capital. Adminstrative Science Quarterly 42: 339-365.

Coleman, S. (1984) Introducing social structure into economic analysis. American Economic Review 74: 84-88.

Essletzbichler, J. (2015) Relatedness, industrial branching and technological cohesion in U.S. metropolitan areas. Regional Studies 49: 752-766.

Essletzbichler, J. and Rigby, D (2007). Exploring evolutionary economic geographies. Journal of Economic Geography 7: 549-571.

Frenken, K. and Boschma, R. (2007). A theoretical framework for evolutionary economic geography: Industrial dynamics and urban growth as a branching process. Journal of Economic Geography 7: 635-649.

Grabher, G. (1993). The weakness of strong ties - The lock-in of regional development in the Ruhr area. In: Grabher, G.(Ed.), The embedded firm (pp. 255-277). New York and London: Routledge.

Kogler, D., Essletzbichler, J. and Rigby, D. (2016). The specialization of the EU 15 knowledge space. Journal of Economic Geography. Forthcoming.

Martin, R. and P. Sunley (2006): Path dependence and regional economic evolution Journal of Economic Geography 6: 395-437.

Neffke, F., Henning, M. and Boschma, R. (2011). How do regions diversify over time? Industry relatedness the development of new growth paths in regions. Economic Geography 87: 237-265.

Padgett, J.F. and Powell W.W. (eds) (2012) The Emergence and Organization of Markets. Princeton University Press. In particular chapters 14, 15, 17.

Porter, M. (1998). Clusters and the new economics of competition. Harvard Business Review (Nov/Dec), 77-98.

Rodríguez-Pose, A. (2013) Do Institutions Matter for Regional Development?, Regional Studies 47: 1034-1047.

Stöhr, W. (1990) (ed). Global Challenge and local Response. Initiatives for Economic Regeneration in Contemporary Europe. The United Nations University, Mansell.

Ter Wal, A.L.J. and Boschma, R. (2011) Co-evolution of firms, industries and networks in space. Regional Studies 45: 919-931.

Tödtling, F. and M. Trippel (2004). Like Phoenix from the Ashes? The renewal of clusters in old industrial areas. Urban Studies 41: 1175-1195.

Wasserman, S. and Faust, K. (1994) Social Network Analysis. Cambridge University Press.


Lecture 7:

Pain, K. Hamme, G. van, Vinciguerra, S. (2014). Territorial performance and position in the global economy, chapter 9. In: Pain, K. and Hamme, G.van (2014) Changing Urban and Regional Relations in a Globalizing World. Edward Elgar.

Beaverstock, J.V., Smith, R.G. and Taylor, P. (2000) World city network: a metageography? Annals of the Association of American Geographers 90: 123-134.

Coe, N., Dicken, P., Hess, M. and Yeung H. (2010) Making connections: global production networks and world city networks. Global Networks 10: 138-149.

Coe, N., Hess, M. Yeung H., Dicken, P. and Henderson, J. (2004) “Globalizing” regional development: A global production networks perspective. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 29: 468-484.

Massey, D. (1979) In what sense a regional problem? Regional Studies.

Pain, K. (2011) ´New world´ for ´old´? Twenty-First-Century Gateways and Corridors: Reflections on a European spatial perspective. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 35: 1154-1174.

Sassen, S. (1991). The Global City. New York, London, Tokyo. Princeton University Press.


Lecture 8:

Maier et al. (2012) Chapter 9

Pike et al. (2006). Chapter 3, pp. 113-122 and chapter 2.

Stöhr, W. (1990) (ed). Global Challenge and local Response. Initiatives for Economic Regeneration in Contemporary Europe. The United Nations University, Mansell.

Farole, T., Rodriguez-Pose, A. and Storper, M. (2011) Cohesion policy in the European Union. Growth, Geography and Institutions. Journal of Common Market Studies 49, 5, pp. 1089-1111.

McCann, P. (2015) The Regional and Urban Policy of the European Union. Edward Elgar. Chapter 6.

Martin, R. and Sunley, P. (2011) The new economic geography and policy relevance. Journal of Economic Geography 11: 357-369.

Tödtling, F. and Trippl, M. (2005) One size fits all? Towards a differentiated regional innovation policy approach. Research Policy 34: 1203-1219.

World Bank (2009). World development report 2009: Reshaping economic geography.,,contentMDK:21955654~pagePK:64167689~piPK:64167673~theSitePK:4231059,00.html


Seminar 1:

All seminar readings are optional. However, they are a great source of information and very helpful for your empirical work. Material available in the download section of this course’s Learn@WU page are in green . Please be aware that not all material is up to date with the newest software version available but it is mostly compatible.

Anselin, L. (2005). Exploring Spatial Data with GeoDa: A Workbook. Chapter 1-6

Anselin, L. (2016). GeoDa Workshop Part 1.

Booth, B., Glennon, R. et al. (2008). ArcMap Tutorial.

Harris, R. (2016). Quantitative Geography: The Basics. Los Angeles. Sage. This book is helpful for all seminar classes

You can also easily find help for many problems you encounter, online.


Seminar 2:

Anselin, L. (2005). Exploring Spatial Data with GeoDa: A Workbook. Chapter 7-12


Seminar 3:

Anselin, L. (2005). Exploring Spatial Data with GeoDa: A Workbook. Chapter 15-21

Wooldridge, J. (2013). Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Approach. Mason, Ohio. South-Western Cengage Learning. Chapters 1-5

Hackl, P. (2013). Einführung in die Ökonometrie. München. Pearson. Chapter 1-5


Seminar 4:

Anselin, L. (2005). Exploring Spatial Data with GeoDa: A Workbook. Chapter 22-24

Wooldridge, J. (2013). Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Approach. Mason, Ohio. South-Western Cengage Learning. Chapters 1-5

Fischer, M. M., Wang, J. (2011). Spatial Data Analysis: Models, Methods and Techniques. Springer Briefs in Regional Science. Chapters 1-3

Hackl, P. (2013). Einführung in die Ökonometrie. München. Pearson. Chapter 1-5

LeSage, J., Pace, K. (2009). Introduction to Spatial Econometrics. CRC Press. Chapters 1-3


Seminar 5:

OECD (2009). How Regions Grow: Trends and Analysis. Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development. Paris

Zuletzt bearbeitet: 30.07.2020