Regional Socioeconomic Impact Analysis and Modeling >> Content Detail



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MIT 11.481J, 1.284J, ESD.192J or permission of instructor


One session per week; 2-3 hours per session

Note that for some weeks, an hour or two of recitation will be held to work on the computer modeling issues.

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. This year we will also examine international employment outsourcing from Boston industries and the economic impacts on the local economy. 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. Regional analysts in New England and elsewhere in 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 as well as employment outsourcing, with the exact projects to be selected by members of the class in collaboration with the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) staff. Students will give a formal presentation to the BRA research staff at the end of the semester.

The weights for the final grade are as follows:

Problem Set 120%
Problem Set 225%
Problem Set 3 (Final Project)30%
Class Presentations15%
Preparation and Presentation to the BRA10%

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


Suggested Books to Purchase

Amazon logo 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: 1859724108.

Amazon logo Krugman, Paul. "Center and Periphery." In Geography and Trade. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1992. ISBN: 0262610868.

Amazon logo ———. "Geography Lost and Found," and "Appendix." In Development, Geography, and Economic Theory. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1995. ISBN: 0262112035.

Amazon logo Miller, Ronald E., and Peter D. Blair. Input-Output Analysis: Foundations and Extensions. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1984. ISBN: 0134667158. (Out-of-print)

Amazon logo Treyz, George I. Regional Economic Modeling: A Systematic Approach to Economic Forecasting and Policy Analysis. Boston, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1993. ISBN: 0792393821.

Required readings are available in the readings section.


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