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Economics of Cities and Religions

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Economics of Cities and Religions

You should have now completed the three assessment workshops for the shift‐share analysis and associated report, read the workshop information sheets and read the set readings for module two. You are ready to start on your report. Here are some handy hints.


[1] The assessment question



  • You have been asked by a council to prepare a brief report on economic changes in the local government area over 2001-2011, using a shift-share analysis of local employment
  • Choose one of these five local government areas for your report:
    • Parramatta City Council o Liverpool City Council o Penrith City Council
    • City of Canada Bay
    • City of Botany Bay
  • Your brief economic report to the council must comprise the following:
  • Outline the structural economic changes in the LGA relative to NSW that have occurred over 2001 2011. Use ABS data on Employment by Industry (Place of Residence) to conduct a shift‐share
  • Make a set of recommendations about how the council could respond to both the economic strengths

and weaknesses identified through the shift-share analysis.

  • Conclude with a critical reflection on your shift-share analysis, drawing on the literature from module two.


[2] The purpose of this assessment


This assessment is both empirical and critical:

  • you learn a method used in economic planning and you apply the insights into concepts and trends that you have learnt in the weekly online learning material;
  • you learn how to do shift‐share analysis, a technique used by economic planners and analysts to understand local economic strengths and weaknesses;
  • you apply key concepts in economic geography and trends in Australia’s economic geography in order to interpret local economic This means you apply to a ‘real world’ example concepts such as deindustrialization, local uneven development and the spatial division of labor.


[3] Marking criteria


  • A detailed marking rubric for this assessment is available as a PDF on the Assessment #2 site in vUWS:


Content Arrangement
Relevant reading (from module2 and elsewhere) Structure
Research effort (i.e. analysis and interpretation) Referencing
Argument and analysis Readability


[4] Writing the analytical essay


  • The 1,000 word report takes a structured format, following these five sections:


  1. Introduction (c. 100 words): State the aim of the report; give brief information on the context of economic changes and trends in Sydney (e.g. the effects global city industries, deindustrialization etc).
  2. Method ( 100 words): In your own words, briefly describe shift-share analysis and what it aims to do.

Make sure to mention the data used, the components of the calculations, and the industry typology.

  1. Results (no words to count): Here, simply paste your shift-share Be sure to title the table (e.g. Figure 1: Shift‐Share Analysis, 2001-2011, Parramatta City LGA)!
  2. Discussion and recommendations (c. 700 words): This is the most important part – as you can see by the suggestion of using 70% of your words This is where you demonstrate on your interpretive and critical understanding, apply knowledge from the online learning modules, and use insights from relevant academic sources. You need to discuss the economic strengths and weaknesses of the LGA as evident in the shift-share analysis, and explain these trends using your conceptual knowledge and academic sources. But you don’t have enough room to cover every industry listed in the shift‐share analysis, so you need to carefully consider what the most relevant economic strengths and weaknesses are for the LGA, and focus on those. Consider the industry typology; consider the relative difference between IM and RS; think about what you have learnt and read about economic trends in cities like Sydney. Be selective. Each of the five LGAs have different strengths and weaknesses; some have more strengths than weaknesses, and vice-versa; choose to discuss the ones that are most relevant to securing the economic future of the LGA. This is where you can demonstrate your reading and your understanding of economic geography trends.
  3. Summary of recommendations (c. 100 words): This serves as the conclusion of the Use dot points

to itemise your recommendations about how the council should respond to local economic strengths and weaknesses in order to secure the LGA’s economic future. Dot point summaries are useful for busy readers like local council officers! Economics of Cities and Religions


  • Formatting:
    • Use headings/sections as indicated in the above instructions.
    • Use sentence/paragraph structure; dot points may be suitable in Section 5.
    • Use Harvard referencing.


[5] Academic and professional sources


  • I expect a high quality report to have at least five appropriate, well‐selected academic (and/or equivalent professional) reference Two of these references must be readings from module two. There are readings listed below.
  • I recommended using Google Scholar to try to locate any scholarly and professional sources that relate specifically to the LGA or region in question; I also recommended searching on the specific local council website for relevant information – the council itself may have already begun to consider the most relevant industries to focus on (improving, ameliorating, etc) to secure their economic



Baker T, Ruming K, 2015, ‘Making “Global Sydney”: spatial imaginaries, worlding and strategic plans, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 39 (1): 62-78.


Beer  A,  2012,  ‘The  economic  geography  of  Australia  and  its  analysis:  from  industrial  to  post-industrial  regions’,

Geographical Research, 50 (3): 269-281.


Connell J, ed, 2000, Sydney: The emergence of a world city, Oxford UP, South Melbourne.


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