Graduate Urban Economics, Spring 2018

Syllabus (updated 2/20/2018)

Referee report guidelines


  1. Week 1 (3/1): Introduction, Urbanization in China (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, 2016
    2. Optional: J. Vernon Henderson, “Urbanization in China: Policy Issues and Options,” Recommendation to China Economic Research and Advisory Program, 2009
  2. Week 2 (3/8): 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: Duranton, Gilles and Puga, Diego, “Urban Land Use”, Handbook of Regional Science and Urban Economics, Vol 5, 2015. The first two sections (up to p14) cover the basic model from our class.
  3. Week 3 (3/15): Monocentric City continued (lecture notes)
    1. Required: LeRoy, Stephen F. and Sonstelie, Jon, “Paradise Lost and Regained: Transportation Innovation, Income, and Residential Location”, Journal of Urban Economics, 1983
  4. Week 4 (3/22): Decentralization in China (lecture notes)
    1. Required: Baum-Snow, Brandt, Henderson, Turner, Zhang. “Roads, Railroads and Decentralization of Chinese Cities,” Review of Economics and Statistics, forthcoming
    2. Optional: Redding, Stephen J. and Turner, Matthew A., “Transportation Costs and the Spatial Organization of Economic Activity,” Handbook of Regional Science and Urban Economics, Vol 5, 2015
  5. Week 5 (3/29): Spatial Equilibrium across Cities (lecture notes)
    1. Required: Roback, Jennifer. “Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life,” Journal of Political Economy, 1982
    2. Recommended: Glaeser, Edward, and Gottlieb, Joshua, “The Wealth of Cities: Agglomeration Economies and Spatial Equilibrium in the United States,” Journal of Economic Literature, 2009
  6. Week 6 (4/5): 清明节: no class
  7. Week 7 (4/12):  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
  8. Week 8 (4/19): Microfoundations of Agglomeration (lecture notes)
    1. Required: Duranton, Gilles and Puga, Diego, “The Micro-Foundations of Urban Agglomeration Economies,” Handbook of Regional 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
  9. Week 9 (4/26): 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
    2. Optional: Au, Chun-Chung and Henderson, J. Vernon, “How migration restrictions limit agglomeration and productivity in China”, Journal of Development Economics, 2006
  10. Week 10 (5/3): 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
  11. Week 11 (5/10): Spatial Methods in R
    1. Presentation
    2. R Markdown Notebook
  12. Week 12 (5/17): New Economic Geography (lecture notes)
    1. Required: Krugman, Paul, “Increasing Returns and Economic Geography,” Journal of Political Economy, 1991
    2. Optional: Krugman, Paul, “Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade,” American Economic Review, 1980
  13. Week 13 (5/24): Agglomeration and Increasing Returns: Evidence from China (lecture notes)
    1. Faber, Ben. “Trade Integration, Market Size, and Industrialization: Evidence from China’s National Trunk Highway System,” Review of Economic Studies.
  14. Week 14 (5/31): Consumer Cities (lecture notes)
    1. Couture, Victor and Handbury, Jessie, “Urban Revival in America, 2000 to 2010,” Working Paper, 2017
    2. Optional: Glaeser, Edward, Kolko, Jed, and Saiz, Albert, “Consumer City”, Journal of Economic Geography, 2001
    3. Schiff, Nathan, “Cities and Product Variety: Evidence from Restaurants,” Journal of Economic Geography, 2015
  15. Week 15 (6/7): Website-based Datasets in Economics Research
    1. Brief discussion of web-based data sources in economics research: lecture notes (from 2017 class)
    2. Class exercise on web-scraping: code
    3. Presentation of Cosman and Schiff, WP, 2018
  16. Week 16 (6/21–I’m away on 6/14): Student presentations