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Microeconomics II
Module Code: EEC7002

Spatial Economics and Big Data

  • ECTS Credit: 5
  • Mandatory/Optional: Optional
  • Module Coordinator: Professor Martina Kirchberger.

Aims of Module

This module will introduce students to spatial economics and big data. The use of such data has become increasingly popular in economics research. Micro-surveys now routinely collect GPS coordinates of households and communities, satellites provide real-time measurements of nighttime luminosity and individuals share location data over many channels. We will explore how these types of data can be used to understand the distribution of economic activity across space, measure outcomes previously hard to measure, and aid identification. Further, we will discuss considerations when working with such data, such as sample selection and privacy concerns.

Module Delivery

The module will be delivered through a combination of lectures (9 hours) and tutorials (3 hours).

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the module, students should be

  • Able to describe recent trends using spatial and big data in economics
  • Knowledgeable about possible sources of spatial data and applications
  • Able to understand a range of methods using spatial and big data
  • Empowered to critically evaluate how and whether spatial and big data can assist in answering a particular research question

Reading List

There is no single reference textbook for this first part of the module. Lectures will be mostly based on a set of papers. Lecture slides and reading lists will be made available on blackboard.


Assessment for the course is based on problem sets and a final examination.