Course Title: Community Economic Analysis

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Community Economic Analysis

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Hamilton Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 2 2012

Course Coordinator: Professor Gavin Wood

Course Coordinator Phone: (61 3) 9925 9885

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course seeks to provide you with basic tools to understand and analyse local and regional economies, through the use of various quantitative and analytical methods. It achieves this aim by introducing you to a basic set of skills so that as a practitioner you will be able to measure the size and composition of a local or regional economy, as well as evaluate the impacts of policy interventions and strategies. There is a substantial literature available on community and regional economic analysis, and the course guides you to accessible sources of information on tools and techniques that assume little or no prior knowledge of economics or statistics. Course material will introduce you to key regional methods of analysis such as regional labour market analysis, the estimation of regional employment multipliers, shift-share techniques, location quotients, regional accounts and input-output tables. The evaluation of regional policy interventions using quasi-experimental approaches, cost-benefit analysis and econometric modelling are also important tools that will be introduced and explained.

The course also provides economic development practitioners with a working knowledge of the ways that local and regional economies function. As an economic developer you must be able to identify the various drivers of growth in the local and regional economy. The course will therefore introduce students to various models of regional growth and its determinants, with particular reference to globalisation.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

The course identifies the tools available, places them in a practical context and allows you as a busy practitioner to understand their use. It helps the economic developer to answer the question: Why is Strategy A more likely to be effective than Strategy B? It provides robust and time-tested techniques that show how “science” can augment the “art” of economic development.

This knowledge will be of substantial benefit to you in arriving at evidence based decisions favouring one strategy over another, and in acquiring a clearer grasp of their impact within regional economies in which they are introduced.

The course therefore aims to provide practitioners with the essential tools for formulating evidence based policy and strategy. The best strategies are those based on “what works”. Hence it is important that you as a practitioner know how to assess “what works”, what doesn’t work, and why. Evaluation tools are an essential ingredient to the economic developer’s toolkit and to this course.

On successful completion of the course, you will be able to:

  • Develop the analytical and quantitative skills needed for measurement of the size and composition of a local or regional economy, identification of the drivers of growth and regional development and estimation of the impact of economic development activities and strategies
  • Apply a research methodology to solve a research or real world problem

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities will include a range of online discussions and activities centred around weekly readings and the course topics. You will be expected to actively contribute to the construction of a supportive learning environment, in which peer-based learning based on your own professional experience will be an important component.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

Resources available you online will include summaries of topics for each week, reading materials, course and assessment information and tools to faciliate discussion online with other students and your tutor on course topics.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment tasks may include written assignments, and online posts contributing to analysis and debate of relevant topics.

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks in a timely manner.

  • If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.
  • A student charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.
  • Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: