Regional and Urban Economics


Course Objective

The aim of this course is to provide students with an advanced
introduction in the field of regional and urban economics. Students
learn the theoretical and empirical methods applied in the field, and
get a good understanding of the fundamental questions that are addressed
in the field and the current state of affairs in the literature. They
are trained to critically read and properly understand contributions in
the leading journals in the field.

At a more specific level, after having taken this course, students:
• can theoretically describe the centripetal and centrifugal forces that
result in spatial equilibrium and can empirically assess their
• understand and can use the core-periphery model and monocentric city
• can empirically describe the spatial distribution of economic
activities using standard agglomeration measures;
• understand the determinants of housing and land prices;
• know the determinants of urban structure and can evaluate the
consequences of spatial planning;
• know the main (spatial) determinants of regional economic development
and understand and can interpret and evaluate spatial growth models;
• know the gravity model as the dominant spatial interaction model to
study trade, commuting and migration and can interpret and evaluate
gravity equations;
• can evaluate spatial policies aimed at fostering (regional) economic
• can present and critically evaluate (the quality of) state of the art
research papers in the research domain of regional and urban economics.

Course Content

This course covers advanced topics in theoretical and empirical research
on regional and urban economics. Key issues are location and potential
reasons for clustering of economic activity, spatial interaction
(migration, trade, FDI and commuting), patterns of regional economic
convergence and divergence, the role of geographic factors in explaining
regional economic growth performance, the impact of (spatial)
externalities of knowledge production, urban size and growth, urban land
use, housing markets and the functioning of regional labour markets. The
topics are addressed from a theoretical as well as an empirical

Teaching Methods

Lectures and Tutorials

Method of Assessment

Written exam (70 percent; individual assessment) and Assignments (30
percent; group assessment). A minimum grade of 5.0 for the exam is


• Brakman, S., J.H. Garretsen and C. van Marrewijk (2009): The New
Introduction to Geographical Economics, Cambridge University Press,
• Gallup, J.L., J.D. Sachs and A.D. Mellinger (1999): ‘Geography
and Economic Development’, International Regional Science Review, 22,
pp. 179-232.
• Glaeser, E.L. and M.E. Kahn (2003): ‘Sprawl and Urban Growth’,
in: J.V. Henderson and J.-F. Thisse (eds), Handbook of Urban and
Regional Economics, Volume 4, Chapter 56, Elsevier, Amsterdam.
• Glaeser, E.L., H.D. Kallal, J.A. Scheinkman and A. Shleifer
(1992): ‘Growth in Cities’, Journal of Political Economy, 100, pp. 1126-
• Krugman, P. (1991): ‘History and Industry Location: The Case of
the US Manufacturing Belt’, American Economic Review, 81, pp. 80-83.

Additional readings may be announced during the course and will be made
available through Canvas.

General Information

Course Code E_STR_RUE
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty School of Business and Economics
Course Coordinator prof. dr. H.L.F. de Groot
Examiner prof. dr. H.L.F. de Groot
Teaching Staff prof. dr. H.L.F. de Groot
prof. dr. J. Rouwendal

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: