Fall 2020 - GEOG 221 D100

Economic Worlds (3)

Class Number: 4084

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:


  • Instructor:

    Alex Clapp
    Office: RCB 7139
    Office Hours: TBD
  • Prerequisites:

    GEOG 100.



The fundamentals of economics geography, the study of the forces that shape the arrangement of economic activity in the real world. Breadth-Social Sciences.


GEOG 221 is designed to offer an introduction to how markets and institutions interact in place and space to shape economic processes.  Its overall objective is to explain how and why the global economy is differentiated and integrated. We focus on understanding the routines of daily life, and why these routines vary from place to place and change over time. This course pursues an institutional perspective to economic geography in which institutions are understood as the formal and informal rules and conventions that organize human behaviour.  The course draws primarily upon Canadian experience and Vancouver-based institutions, but is applicable to market economies in general.

The first part of the course introduces the economic geography of markets, how institutions govern market exchanges in place and across space, and the causes and consequences of market failure. Markets stimulate urbanization, innovation, and labour specialization. Second, the course examines the four institutional pillars of the economy: business, labour, governments and non-profit organizations, and how their structures and strategies shape markets, integrate the global economy and influence local development. Third, the course examines how institutional architecture influences the locational dynamics of specific industries.

As a broadly–based foundation in economic geography this course will interest students who are pursuing studies in regional development and planning, urban geography, tourism, industrial location, and environmental and resource management.  It also complements studies in business and economics and other social science approaches to the economy.  GEOG 221 is a designated breadth course.

Delivery Method: fully asynchronous. Students must be equipped technologically to access Canvas, Blackboard Collaborate, and (occasionally) Zoom.


This course is designed to provide:

  • an introduction to the principles, concepts and theories that underlie an institutional approach to economic geography;
  • an understanding of why regions differ in terms of economic specialization and levels of standards of living;
  • an overview of globalization and the flows and integration across geographic space of people, goods, services, information and investment;
  • an appreciation of the value of economic geography in solving problems related to location, land use and regional development;
  • an increased awareness of issues reported in the media as they pertain to the economy, environment, business and development.


  • Three tests - asynchronous 60%
  • Two assignments 40%


Evaluation Subject to Change



Economic Geography: An Institutional Approach – Second Edition (R Hayter and J Patchell; Oxford University Press; ISBN: 9780199013289)

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).