Economics 366 Midterm #1 Answer Key

Economics 366 - Economics 366 Urban Economics MIDTERM 1 Instructor Sarbajit Sengupta Date October 6 2008 Time 10 05 am 10:45 am(1 hr 40 min Answer

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Economics 366: Urban Economics Date: October 6: 2008 MIDTERM 1 Time 10: 05 am– 10:45 am Instructor: Sarbajit Sengupta (1 hr 40 min) Answer any 5 questions (5 x 10 =50) 1. (a) Explain the concepts (i) urban area , and (ii) population density . Answer : An urban area (or metropolitan area) is normally a central city (or two cities, in some cases) that has a population of at least 50,000 people, and includes surrounding areas in addition to the central city. An urban area is different from an urban place (which requires only a concentration of 2,500) and also different from a Metropolitan Statistical Area (which includes surrounding contiguous counties). Population density is the number of people within a certain land area. For example, the population density of the United States in 1990 was about 70 people per square mile. (b) How important is population density in determining whether an area may be considered as urban? Answer : Population density is somewhat important in determining whether an area may be considered as urban, but there can be confusion with this regarding annexation. Depending on the extent of annexation, certain areas may or may not be considered urban. In some cases, population density justifies some areas as urban, but such areas might not be perceived that way by some people because they are not well- known areas. Nonetheless, population density often serves as a sufficient preliminary way of determining an area as urban. (c) Briefly discuss 3 of the main causes of urbanization. Answer : Three of the main causes of urbanization include: 1) scale economies (which encourages import substitution, as well as businesses and households to move towards a central city/central business district), 2) investment of capital on land (which results in buildings being constructed for both businesses and households), and 3) locational advantage (in which the geographical layout of the land encourages more efficient production and/or transportation). 2. (a) Explain some of the limits on urban size in the pre-industrial age. Answer : Transport cost, degree of scale economies relative to market demand, cost of carrying on activities within the city itself, cost of trade with the hinterland. (b) Explain how infectious diseases limited the development of large cities in the pre- industrial age. Answer : A lack of pure water and efficient sewage disposal were major contributors to health problems and above-average mortality in 19 th century cities. Well water was particularly contaminated in low-lying areas, and the mortality was high in such areas. Death rates increased dramatically because increases in density could not be accommodated with proper means of providing water or removing waste. (c) What were some of the factors in the industrial age that helped urbanization?
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2009 for the course ECON 366 taught by Professor Sengupta during the Fall '08 term at USC.

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Economics 366 - Economics 366 Urban Economics MIDTERM 1 Instructor Sarbajit Sengupta Date October 6 2008 Time 10 05 am 10:45 am(1 hr 40 min Answer

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