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Are Cities Dying?

  • Edward L. Glaeser

This paper organizes a discussion of the costs and benefits of cities around the question: Are cities becoming obsolete? While minimizing transport costs for manufactured goods no longer justifies the existence of cities, they still facilitate the division of labor and the flow of ideas. Cities' higher housing, commuting, and pollution costs seem stable over time. Only the costs associated with urban poverty may increase and these costs do not effect many newer cities. Although many older cities will continue their decline, the future of the urban form seems surprisingly bright.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.12.2.139
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 12 (1998)
Issue (Month): 2 (Spring)
Pages: 139-160

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:12:y:1998:i:2:p:139-60
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.12.2.139
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  1. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1996. "Why Is There More Crime in Cities?," NBER Working Papers 5430, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Eaton, Jonathan & Eckstein, Zvi, 1997. "Cities and growth: Theory and evidence from France and Japan," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4-5), pages 443-474, August.
  3. Ciccone, Antonio & Hall, Robert E, 1996. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 54-70, March.
  4. Glaeser, Edward L., 1999. "Learning in Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 254-277, September.
  5. Edward L. Glaeser & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1991. "Growth in Cities," NBER Working Papers 3787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Ellison, G. & Glaeser, E.L., 1994. "Geographic Concentration in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: A Dartboard Approach," Working papers 94-27, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. Alberto F. Ades & Edward L. Glaeser, 1994. "Evidence on Growth, Increasing Returns and the Extent of the Market," NBER Working Papers 4714, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-58, December.
  9. Roback, Jennifer, 1982. "Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1257-78, December.
  10. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  11. Fujita, Masahisa & Mori, Tomoya, 1996. "The role of ports in the making of major cities: Self-agglomeration and hub-effect," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 93-120, April.
  12. Case, A.C. & Katz, L.F., 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects Of Family And Neighborhood On Disadvantaged Younths," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1555, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  13. Thaler, Richard, 1978. "A note on the value of crime control: Evidence from the property market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 137-145, January.
  14. Julio J. Rotemberg & Garth Saloner, 1990. "Competition and Human Capital Accumulation: A Theory of Interregional Specialization and Trade," NBER Working Papers 3228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Glaeser, Edward L. & Scheinkman, JoseA. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1995. "Economic growth in a cross-section of cities," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 117-143, August.
  16. Glaeser, Edward L, 1996. " The Incentive Effects of Property Taxes on Local Governments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 89(1-2), pages 93-111, October.
  17. Baumgardner, James R, 1988. "The Division of Labor, Local Markets, and Worker Organization," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 509-27, June.
  18. repec:hoo:wpaper:e-94-11 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1992. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," NBER Working Papers 3993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1994. "The Division of Labor, Coordination Costs, and Knowledge," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 299-322 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & José A. Scheinkman, 1996. "Crime and Social Interactions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 507-548.
  22. Edward L. Glaeser & David C. Mare, 1994. "Cities and Skills," NBER Working Papers 4728, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  24. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jacob L. Vigdor, 1997. "The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto," NBER Working Papers 5881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn & Jordan Rappaport, 2000. "Why Do The Poor Live In Cities?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1891, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  26. Tolley, George S., 1974. "The welfare economics of city bigness," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 324-345, July.
  27. James E. Rauch, 1994. "Bureaucracy, Infrastructure, and Economic Growth: Evidence from U.S. Cities During the Progressive Era," NBER Working Papers 4973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284.
  29. Guy Dumais & Glenn Ellison & Edward L Glaeser, 1998. "Geographic Concentration as a Dynamic Process," Working Papers 98-3, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  30. Matthew E Kahn, 1997. "The Silver Lining Of Rust Belt Manufacturing Decline: Killing Off Pollution Externalities," Working Papers 97-7, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  31. Rauch James E., 1993. "Productivity Gains from Geographic Concentration of Human Capital: Evidence from the Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 380-400, November.
  32. Berliant, Marcus & Wang, Ping, 1993. "Endogenous formation of a city without agglomerative externalities or market imperfections : Marketplaces in a regional economy," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 121-144, March.
  33. Sah, R.K., 1990. "Social Osmosis And Patterns Of Crime: A Dynamic Economic Analysis," Papers 609, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  34. 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.
  35. Henderson, Vernon & Kuncoro, Ari & Turner, Matt, 1995. "Industrial Development in Cities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 1067-90, October.
  36. Paul Krugman, 1992. "Geography and Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262610868, June.
  37. repec:hoo:wpaper:e-95-4 is not listed on IDEAS
  38. repec:fth:harver:1420 is not listed on IDEAS
  39. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser, 1997. "Are Ghettos Good or Bad?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 827-872.
  40. Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-70, December.
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