Foundations of Comparative Regional Development
Department of Regional Economic and Social Development
Professors Philip Moss and Chris Tilly
Professor Tilly Professor Moss
O’Leary Library 500-N O’Leary Library 500-N
978-934-2796, 617-983-3202 (H) 978-934-2787, 617-277-8231 (H)
Course meeting time and location
The course will meet on Tuesday evenings, in the RESD seminar rooms 500-M and 500-Q in the RESD suite on the 5th Floor of O’Leary Library.
states, and regions (such as
This course is built around informed discussion and independent work by students. Doing the readings on time, attending class, and participating in discussion on the readings are absolutely required, because students need to do these things to get value from the class.
There are also take-home assignments due almost weekly throughout the semester. There are four kinds of assignments:
1) Exercises (two of them). We give you data, and you use the techniques you have learned to analyze them.
2) Memos (three of them). Based on a community or region you have picked, you gather information, analyze it, and report on it. The second and third memo each have three due dates--two for initial pieces of the memo, the third for the entire memo.
3) Take-home exam. Your chance to broadly discuss and apply the main concepts in the course.
The final grade will be approximately based on the following:
25% Class participation (PLEASE NOTE THAT ONE-QUARTER OF THE
GRADE IS CLASS PARTICIPATION)
10% Two exercises
45% Three memos (10% for Memo 1, 17.5% each for 2 and 3)
20% Take-home exam
Due dates of all assignments are given in the course schedule. Assignments turned in late will be graded down severely.
In all written work, we expect you to identify all sources of data, information, and ideas. When quoting or paraphrasing someone else’s work, cite the source. Our preferred form of citation is the author-date form. For example:
The data on firm size indicate that small business’s
Then at the end of the paper, have a complete list of references. For example:
1994. Lean and Mean: The Changing
Landscape of Corporate Power in the Age of Flexibility.
Using someone else’s information or ideas without citing the source is misleading, prevents a reader from following up on interesting ideas, and defeats the educational purpose of the assignments (which is to build on other people’s work to come up with your own ideas and conclusions). Please don’t do it.
will make photocopied readings available to students. Some of the readings will be made available
SCHEDULE OF CLASSES AND ASSIGNMENTS
Week 1 (September 2): Posing the problem of regional development
What is a region? What is development?
Amartya Sen, Development as Freedom (New York: Anchor Books 1999)
Chapter 2, “The Ends and Means of Development”
Exercise 1 (Tracking and comparing economic growth) handed out
WEEKS 2-3: LONG RUN NEOCLASSICAL ANALYSIS OF REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Why do particular industries locate and grow in particular
regions? Why did the textile industry
first develop in
Hekman and Strong - "The Evolution of
Interview with Peter Hall, “Location, Location: A
leading urbanist argues that when it comes to innovation, place really does
matter,” Wall Street Journal;
Memo 1 assignment (Community overview) handed out
Week 3 (Sept. 16): Location Theory and the neoclassical approach to economics
Continuation of our discussion of why firms locate and grow in particular areas. How do linkages develop among firms? Agglomeration—linkages among firms and industries and the ideas of increasing returns to scale and external economies.
Case and Fair, “The Behavior of Profit-Maximizing Firms and the Production Process,” Chapter 7, Principles of Economics, 4th Edition, (NJ: Prentice Hall 1996)
Blair and Premus - "Major Factors in Industrial Location: A Review," Economic Development Quarterly, (1987)
Natalie Cohen, “Business Location Decision-Making and the Cities:
Bringing Companies Back,” Working paper, The Brookings Institution, Center for Urban and
Metropolitan Policy, May 2000
Nothing due this week
WEEKS 4-6: LONG RUN ALTERNATIVE VIEWS OF REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT, PART 1
Week 4 (Sept. 23): Product cycle and profit cycle--bringing strategy into the picture
Businesses are proactive strategists, not just reactive “price-takers.” What are the implications for regional development?
Ann Markusen, Profit Cycles, Oligopoly, and Regional
Development (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1987). Ch.1-4 (theoretical framework, pp.1-50) and
Ch.8 (case study of
“Up from the Scrape Heap,” Business
Memo 1 due
Memo 2 assignment (The community’s key industries) handed out
Week 5 (Sept. 30): Competitive advantage
How does a region get to be (and STAY!) “good” at a particular industry or type of product?
Michael Porter, “The competitive advantage of nations,” Harvard Business Review, March-April 1990, 73-93.
William Lazonick, “Industry clusters
vs. global webs: Organizational capabilities in the
Chris Tilly, “State-level strategy
for developing base industries: A Massachusetts case study.”
Joel Kotkin, “The declustering of
Memo 2, part A (identifying key industries) due
Week 6 (Oct. 7): Models of Growth and environmental impacts of growth
William Easterly, The
Illusive Quest for Growth, (
John Miller, “The wrong shade of green: Orthodox economics puts profits before sustainability,” Dollars and Sense, April 1993, pp.6-9—
Porter and van der Linde - "Green and Competitive," Harvard Business Review, (July/Aug., 1995).
Memo 2, part B (appointment to interview industry spokesperson) due
WEEKS 7-8: INTERLUDE ON SECTORAL ANALYSIS
Week 7 (Oct. 14):
What is a sectoral study? How is a sectoral study conducted?
“Sectoral Strategies: Targeting Key Industries,” Beth Siegel, Adrew Reamer and Mona Hochberg, Commentary, Winter 1987
A. Markusen, “Studying Regions by Studying Firms,” Professional Geographer, vol. 46, no. 4, 1994.
Week 8 (Oct. 21):
Examples of sectoral studies.
Lisa R. Peattie, “What is to be done
with the “Informal Sector:” A case study of shoe manufacturers in
Robert Forrant and Erin Flynn,
“Seizing agglomeration's potential: The
Memo 2 (full memo) due
Take-home midterm handed out
WEEKS 9-11: LONG RUN ALTERNATIVE VIEWS OF REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT, PART 2
Week 9 (Oct. 28): Alternative views of business decision-making and the role of institutions in economic development
More exploration of how businesses make decisions that have an impact on regions. How do local institutions influence the economic advantages of a region?
Institutional/strategic: Chris Tilly and Charles Tilly, Work Under Capitalism (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1997), Ch.5, “Employers at work,” pp.95-114
Robert D. Putnam, “The Prosperous Community: Social Capital and Public Life, The American Prospect, Spring 1993
Susan Christopherson, “Why do national labor market practices continue to diverge in the global economy? The ‘missing link’ of investment rules.” Economic Geography Vol. 78, No.1, January 2002, pp.1-20.
Memo 3 assignment (Recommendations for a key industry) handed out
Week 10 (Nov. 4): Comparative advantage and trade
Is free trade always a good thing? Ever a good thing? Why do almost all economists and Bill Clinton and George W. Bush love free trade?
Chapter 34 in William J. Baumol and Alan S. Blinder, Economics: Principles and Policy, 7th Edition, NY: Dryden Press 1997.
Arthur MacEwan, “The new evangelists: Preaching that old time religion.” Dollars and Sense, November 1991
Work on Memo 3
How much of a change is the globalization of the economy--and is it a change for the worse or the better? What are the implications for regional growth?
Gary Burtless, Robert Lawrence and
Robert Litan, Globaphobia, (Washington,
DC: Brookings Institution 1998),
William Tabb, “Globalization is an issue, the power of capital is the issue,” Monthly Review, Vol.49, No.2, 1997, pp.20-30.
The following short pieces are optional. They are provocative and will help stimulate discussion, but if you are pressed for time, you do not need to read them.
Alice Amsden, ”Ending Isolationism,” Dissent vol.27 no. 2 Spring 2000 p. 13-16.
Walden Bello, “From Melbourne To Prague: The Struggle For A Deglobalized World,” Talk delivered at a series of engagements on the occasion of demonstrations against the World Economic Forum (Davos) in Melbourne, Australia, 6-10 September 2000
Memo 3 Part A (literature review on the sector) due
WEEK 11: SHORT RUN GROWTH
Week 12 (Nov. 25): Short run economic growth
What causes booms and recessions in a region? How important is the role of national business cycles played out in the region, and how important are key industries in the region?
Moscovitch - "The Downturn in the
Exercise 2 (Shift-share analysis) handed out
Week 13 (Dec. 2): Cities
What forces affect the economies of the small regions that we call cities? What approaches to urban revitalization have succeeded?
Henry R. Richmond, “Metropolitan
Land-Use Reform: The Promise and Challenge of Majority Consensus,” in Bruce
Katz, ed. Reflections on Regionalism,
H. V. Savitch and Paul Kantor, “Urban Strategies for a Global Era: A Cross-National Comparison,” American Behavioral Scientist, Vo. 46 No. 8, April 2003: 1002-1033
Michael E. Porter, “The Competitive Advantage of the Inner City,” Harvard Business Review (May/June, 1995):55-71.
Merrill Goozner, “The Porter Prescription,” The American Prospect, May/June 1998, p. 56-64.
Exercise 2 due
Week 14 (Dec. 9): Neighborhoods
What can be done to revitalize poor neighborhoods?
Stephan Michelson, “Community-based development in urban areas,” in Robert Friedman and William Schweke, editors, Expanding the Opportunity to Produce: Revitalizing the American Economy through New Enterprise Development (Washington, DC: Corporation for Enterprise Development, 1981).
Michael Teitz, “Neighborhood economics: Local communities and regional markets,” Economic Development Quarterly, Vol.3, No.2 (May 1989), 111-122.
Ronald Ferguson and Sara Stoutland,
“Reconceiving the Community Development Field” in Ronald F. Ferguson and
William T. Dickens, eds. Urban Problems and Community Development,
Memo 3 part B (interview with an industry source on topics covered in part A) due
This is during exam period. There is no final exam in this class. We will decide as a class whether or not to meet during this time to catch up on material that we may not have completed, and work on problems people are having with the final aspects of Memo 3.
Completed Memo 3 due December 19, during exam period
There is no final exam