Information Technology and the Future of Cities
AbstractWill improvements in information technology eliminate face-to- face interactions and make cities obsolete? In this paper, we present a model where individuals make contacts and choose whether to use electronic or face-to-face meetings in their interactions. Cities are modeled as a means of reducing the fixed travel costs involved in face-to-face interactions. When telecommunications technology improves, there are two opposing effects on cities and face-to-face interactions: some relationships that used to be face-to-face will be done electronically (an intuitive substitution effect), and some individuals will choose to make more contacts, many of which result in face-to-face interactions. Our empirical work suggests that telecommunications may be a complement, or at least not a strong substitute for cities and face-to-face interactions. We also present simple models of learning in person, from a written source, or over the phone, and find that interactive communication dominates other forms of learning when ideas are complicated.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5562.
Date of creation: May 1996
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Journal of Urban Economics, Vol. 43, no. 1 (January 1998): 136-156
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Other versions of this item:
- Jess Gaspar & Edward L. Glaeser, 1996. "Information Technology and the Future of Cities," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1756, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
- O18 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Face to Face Contact and the Internet are Complements: The Case of Brazil's Carnival
by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2012-02-18 15:12:00
- Are Cities and the Internet Complements or Substitutes?
by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2012-05-28 15:20:00
- How Will Participating Universities Make $ From Offering Free Web Courses on Coursera?
by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2012-07-20 13:40:00
- Amazon Fresh and the Rise of the Consumer City
by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2013-07-31 02:37:00
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