Graduate Urban Economics, Spring 2016

Syllabus (updated 3/8/2016)


  1. Week 1: Introduction, Monocentric City (lecture notes)
    1. Required: Brueckner, Jan K., “The Structure of Urban Equilibria: A Unified Treatment of the Muth-Mills Model“, Ch. 20, Handbook of Regional Science and Urban Economics, Vol 2, 1987
    2. Optional: J. Vernon Henderson, “Urbanization in China: Policy Issues and Options,” Recommendation to China Economic Research and Advisory Program, 2009
  2. Week 2: Decentralization in China (lecture notes)
    1. Required: Baum-Snow, Brandt, Henderson, Turner, Zhang. “Roads, Railroads and Decentralization of Chinese Cities,” Working Paper
  3. Week 3: Micro-foundations of Agglomeration (lecture notes)
    1. Required: Duranton, Gilles and Puga, Diego, “Micro-Foundations of Urban Agglomeration Economies,” Ch 48, Handbook of Regional Science and Urban Economics, Vol. 4, 2004
      1. Note 1: This is a long paper and so I only want you to understand the basic models of sharing, matching, and learning. Therefore you can skip sections: 2.3.2, 2.4, 3.1.5, 3.3, 4.2.2, 4.3.
      2. Note 2: above link is to the final working paper, which is a clearer digital copy than the handbook article
  4. Week 4: Urban Economic Issues in China (lecture notes)
    1. Required: Henderson, J.V., “Urbanization in China: Policy Issues and Options,” Recommendation to China Economic Research and Advisory Program, 2009
    2. We will also hold student presentations and finish our coverage of Duranton and Puga, 2004
  5. Week 5: Agglomeration and Increasing Returns (lecture notes)
    1. Required: Krugman, 1991, JPE
  6. Week 6: Market Integration: Evidence from China (lecture notes)
    1. Required: Faber, Benjamin, “Trade Integration, Market Size, and Industrialization: Evidence from China’s National Trunk Highway System,” ReStud, 2014
  7. Week 7: 清明节
  8. Week 8: Systems of Cities (lecture notes)
    1. Read section 5.5 of handbook article: Duranton, Gilles, and Puga, Diego, “The Growth of Cities,” Handbook of Economic Growth, Volume 2B, 2014
  9. Week 9: Systems of Cities: Evidence from China (lecture notes)
    1. Required: Au, Chun-Chung and Henderson, J. Vernon, “Are Chinese Cities Too Small?”, Review of Economic Studies, 2006
  10. Week 10 (4/25): Agglomeration and Firm Concentration (lecture notes)
    1. Required: Ellison, Glenn and Glaeser, Edward, “Geographic Concentration in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: A Dartboard Approach,” Journal of Political Economy, 1997
    2. Optional: Guimaraes, Figueiredo, Woodward, “Measuring the Localization of Economic Activity: A Parameteric Approach,” Journal of Regional Science, 2007
    3. Students presenting: Lu, Jiangyong and Tao, Zhigang, “Trends and determinants of China’s industrial agglomeration,” Journal of Urban Economics, 2009
    4. Students presenting: Long, Cheryl and Zhang, Xiabo, “Cluster-based industrialization in China: Financing and performance,” Journal of International Economics, 2011
  11. Week 11 (5/2): 劳动节
  12. Week 12 (5/9): Sorting across Cities (lecture notes)
    1. Required: Glaeser, Edward, and Gottlieb, Joshua, “The Wealth of Cities: Agglomeration Economies and Spatial Equilibrium in the United States,” Journal of Economic Literature, 2009
    2. Optional: Roback, Jennifer. “Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life,” Journal of Political Economy, 1982
  13. Week 13 (5/16): Sorting within Cities (lecture notes)
    1. Required: Bayer, Patrick, Ferreira, Fernando, and McMillan, Robert, “A Unified Framework for Measuring Preference for Schools and Neighborhoods,” Journal of Political Economy, 2007
    2. Optional: Bayer, Patrick, McMillan, Robert, and Rueben, Kim “An Equilibrium Model of Sorting in an Urban Housing Market,” NBER WP 10865
  14. Week 14 (5/23): Urban Economics in Developing Countries (lecture notes)
    1. Required: Chauvin, Juan Pablo, Glaeser, Edward, Ma, Yueran, and Tobio, Kristina, “What is Different about Urbanization in Rich and Poor Countries? Cities in Brazil, China, India, and the United States.” Journal of Urban Economics, forthcoming 2016
  15. Week 15 (5/30): Spatial Methods in R
    1. Code for in-class lab (R file)
  16. Week 16 (6/13–I will be away 6/6): Class presentations of research proposals