Numerical data are everywhere. Charts and statistics appear not just in geography journals but also in the media, in public policy, and in business and commerce too. To engage with quantitative geography, we must engage with the quantitative methods used to collect, analyse, present and interpret these data. Quantitative Geography: The Basics is the perfect introduction for undergraduates beginning any quantitative methods course. Written in short, user-friendly chapters with full-colour diagrams, the book guides the reader through a wide range of topics from the basic to the more advanced, including: • Statistics • Maths • Graphics • Models • Mapping and GIS • R Closely aligned with the Q-Step quantitative social science programme, Quantitative Geography: The Basics is the ideal starting point for understanding and exploring this fundamental area of Geography.

Introducing Quantitative Geography

Introducing Quantitative Geography

1.1 Introduction

In 2010, two economists, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, published an influential paper that provided a rationale for the policies of austerity adopted by many governments following the banking crises and global recession of the late 2000s (Reinhart and Rogoff, 2010). Their paper shows how increasing government debt stifles economic growth, but only once debt exceeds 90 per cent of a nation’s gross domestic product (GDP, a measure of the monetary value of a country’s economic output). You can understand how it caused alarm. In 2007, government debt as a percentage of GDP was 65.2%, 24.9%, 36.3%, 64.2% and 43.7% in Germany, Ireland, Spain, France and the UK, respectively. Three years later it had risen sharply to 82.5%, ...

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