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Cities and Warfare: The Impact of Terrorism on Urban Form

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  • Edward L. Glaeser
  • Jesse M. Shapiro
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    Abstract

    What impact will terrorism have on America’s cities? Historically, large-scale violence has impacted cities in three ways. First, concentrations of people have an advantage in defending themselves from attackers, making cities more appealing in times of violence. Second, cities often make attractive targets for violence, which creates an incentive for people to disperse. Finally, since warfare and terrorism often specifically target means of transportation, violence can increase the effective cost of transportation, which will usually increase the demand for density. Evidence on war and cities in the 20 th century suggests that the effect of wars on urban form can be large (for example, Berlin in World War II), but more commonly neither terrorism nor wars have significantly altered urban form. As such, across America the effect of terrorism on cities is likely to be small. The only exception to this is downtown New York which, absent large-scale subsidies, will probably not be fully rebuilt. Furthermore, such subsidies make little sense to us.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Harvard - Institute of Economic Research in its series Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers with number 1942.

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    Date of creation: 2001
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    Handle: RePEc:fth:harver:1942

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    1. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
    2. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, . "Urban Decline and Durable Housing," Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers 382, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
    3. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2001. "Bones, Bombs and Break Points: The Geography of Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 8517, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Enders, Walter & Sandler, Todd & Parise, Gerald F, 1992. "An Econometric Analysis of the Impact of Terrorism on Tourism," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(4), pages 531-54.
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    Cited by:
    1. Tilman Brück, 2004. "An Economic Analysis of Security Policies," HiCN Working Papers 06, Households in Conflict Network.
    2. H Garretsen & M. Schramm & S. Brakman, 2003. "The Spatial Distribution of Wages: Estimating the Helpman-Hanson model for Germany," Working Papers 03-09, Utrecht School of Economics.
    3. Tavares, Jose, 2004. "The open society assesses its enemies: shocks, disasters and terrorist attacks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(5), pages 1039-1070, July.
    4. Gul, Tayyeba Gul & Hussain, Anwar Hussain & Bangash, Shafiqullah Bangash & Khattak, Sanam Waghma Khattak, 2010. "Impact of Terrorism on Financial Markets of Pakistan (2006-2008)," MPRA Paper 41990, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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