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    Applies methods of microeconomic analysis to understand urban and regional land development patterns. Analyses a variety of urban and regional public policy issues, such as regional economic development, land-use and transportation policy, and the provision of local public goods and services.

    The last 200 years have witnessed a remarkable shift in population from rural to urban areas in developed countries. In New Zealand, at least 85% of the population now live in towns and cities. In this paper we apply the methods of microeconomic analysis to gain an understanding of why this has happened and of the forces that shape land development and resource allocation within and across urbanised areas. Specifically, we will develop a working understanding of the economics of urban areas:

    • Economic explanations of why cities exist, where they develop and why they grow
    • How and why urban land develops in some consistent patterns
    • The roles of local governments in influencing the allocation of resources in urban areas

    About this paper

    Paper title Urban and Regional Economics
    Subject Economics
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $937.50
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    ECON 201 or ECON 271
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music, Commerce, Science
    May not be credited together with ECON350 passed before 2006.
    Requires background in introductory and intermediate microeconomics.
    Teaching staff
    Dr Paul Thorsnes
    Paper Structure
    This paper addresses four topic areas in urban/regional economics:
    • Urban growth and development across the region
    • Allocation of land across urban uses
    • Urban housing economics
    • Economic analysis of local government policy

    Textbooks are not required for this paper.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete this paper will gain:

    • Skill in the application of microeconomic models and reasoning
    • Knowledge of urban economic theories and findings
    • Understanding of the economic rationale for urban public policies and the advantages and disadvantages of alternative policies


    Not offered in 2024

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system
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