chapter  8
6 Pages

Urban Growth Characteristics

ByAlan M. Voorhees

The economic base of the metropolis consists in the activities by which its inhabitants supply each other. The Concept of the Economic Base claims that all economic activities of an area can and should be divided into two fundamentally different and mutually exclusive categories. The concept divides all employment, community into "basic" or "primary" employment, working for export, and "nonbasic" or "secondary" employment, working for local consumption. This method purports to serve two goals: Concentration of attention on the most important industries. Prediction of future total employment and population, which are to be derived from future "basic" employment by means of a "basic-nonbasic ratio" and of a "multiplier". The "basic-nonbasic ratio" is meaningful only in small and simply structured communities; the larger and more complex, that is more "metropolitan" community, the less applicable is the ratio and the entire metod. The difference between "basic" and "non-basic" activities is the difference in their role in balance of payments with world outside community.