Economics of Cities and Spatial Methods, 7.5 credits
Economics of Cities and Spatial Methods, 7,5 högskolepoäng
Course Syllabus for students Autumn 2020
Course Code: JECR20
Confirmed by: Director of Education Apr 9, 2019
Revised by: Director of Education Apr 16, 2019
Valid From: Jan 7, 2020
Version: 1
Education Cycle: Second-cycle level
Disciplinary domain: Social sciences (75%) and natural sciences (25%)
Subject group: NA1
Specialised in: A1N
Main field of study: Economics

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)

On completion of the course the students will be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

1. describe the location choices, occupations and industry activities, culture, and the role of cities in this context.
2. analyze talent location and migration, cities, urban regions, and the implication of this for regional economic development.
3. demonstrate the role of cities in relation to economic development, innovation, firm performance, housing markets etc.
4. demonstrate the concepts of path dependence, discontinuous change and emergence in the context of spatial economics with respect to cities.
5. identify the relevant externalities arising in the interactions occurring in cities, and the institutions and the policy tools available to deal with their effects.

Skills and abilities

6. identify and discuss main concepts behind city development.
7. formulate and use models of geographical economics.
8. differentiate the concepts of knowledge-creative economies from the traditional manufacturing industry.

Judgement and approach

9. understand the implications of the theories in terms of economic policy decisions


This course explores the role of cities, and their role in the processes or economic and social evolution. During the last decades we have witnessed a rapid change from traditional manufacturing into a society primarily based on input from the human mind. Despite predictions of human activity decentralization, creativity and innovation are unevenly distributed geographically and highly concentrated. This course explores the geography of technology, creativity, innovation and the role of cities - the factors that shape that shape the uneven geographic distribution across space.
Important elements of the course are the following:
• The Role of Cities
• Knowledge-Creative Economies
• The Role of Regions
• Geography of Talent/ Human Capital
• Congestion effects and the pricing of services

Type of instruction

The course is structured around a number of seminars and computer labs. The course entails writing an individual papers and a group work.

The teaching is conducted in English.


Bachelor’s degree in Economics (or the equivalent).

Examination and grades

The course is graded A, B, C, D, E, FX or F.

Participation (25%): Participation is vital. The class needs each and every one of you to participate energetically and fully. Notes on students’ participation will be taken continuously for grading at the end of the course. If your personal circumstance requires you to miss a class, please notify the course coordinator in advance.
Discussion Leaders (25%): As a seminar, a group of students are expected to lead a discussion of a core set of readings and concepts. This will require you to prepare for a presentation in class and also prepare a set of thinking points/discussion points (10-15) related to the readings. Your responsibility is to lead and orient the discussion. Keep your opening comments to about 20 minutes and prepare some key questions to keep the discussion lively and animated. The students that do not present are supposed to hand in 2 pages each of reflection points on the same material. Please e-mail your thinking-points hand-outs to the class and the course co-ordinator no later than the two days before your seminar day.
Paper (50%): Students groups will prepare a final paper testing concepts and theories discussed in the course with empirical evidence and data from the computer labs. The paper should be “journal quality”, and give a background on city and region theories.

Registration of examination:
Name of the TestValueGrading
Examination17.5 creditsA/B/C/D/E/FX/F
1 There are three categories of examination which lead to the final grade of the course. Participation, discussion and a final paper which accounts for 25%, 50% and 25% of the final grade, respectively. Thus, ILOs 6-9 will be examined using the participation Thus, ILOs 6-9 will be examined using the discussion leader Thus, ILOs 1-9 will be examined using the written project (paper)

Course evaluation

It is the responsibility of the examiner to ensure that each course is evaluated. At the outset of the course, evaluators must be identified (elected) among the students. The course evaluation is carried out continuously as well as at the end of the course. On the completion of the course the course evaluators and course examiner discuss the course evaluation and possible improvements. A summary report is created and archived. The reports are followed up by program directors and discussed in program groups and with relevant others (depending on issue e.g. Associate Dean of Education, Associate Dean of faculty, Director of PhD Candidates, Dean and Director of Studies). The next time the course runs, students should be informed of any measures taken to improve the course based on the previous course evaluation.

Other information

Academic integrity

JIBS students are expected to maintain a strong academic integrity. This implies to behave within the boundaries of academic rules and expectations relating to all types of teaching and examination.
Copying someone else’s work is a particularly serious offence and can lead to disciplinary action. When you copy someone else’s work, you are plagiarizing. You must not copy sections of work (such as paragraphs, diagrams, tables and words) from any other person, including another student or any other author. Cutting and pasting is a clear example of plagiarism. There is a workshop and online resources to assist you in not plagiarizing called the Interactive Anti-Plagiarism Guide.
Other forms of breaking academic integrity include (but are not limited to) adding your name to a project you did not work on (or allowing someone to add their name), cheating on an examination, helping other students to cheat and submitting other students work as your own, and using non-allowed electronic equipment during an examination. All of these make you liable to disciplinary action.

Course literature

Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Vintage Books, 1961.
Jane Jacobs, The Economy of Cities, Vintage Books, 1969.
Richard Florida, The Rise of the Creative Class, Basic Books, 2002.
Edward Glaeser, Triumph of the City, The Penguin Press, 2011.
Elizabeth Currid, “The Warhol Economy”, Princton, 2007.
Also several articles, which will be announced when the course starts, will be used for the assignments.