Graduate Urban Economics, Spring 2021


  1. Week 1 (3/1): Introduction, Urbanization in China (lecture notes)
  2. Week 2 (3/8): Monocentric City Model (lecture notes)
    • 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
    • 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 Model and Transportation Modes (lecture notes)
    • Required: Jerch, Rhiannon, Barwick, Panle Jia, Li, Shanjun, and Wu, Jing. “Road Rationing Policies and Housing Markets,” Working Paper, 2021
    • Optional: 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): Transportation and Decentralization in China (lecture notes)
    • Required: Baum-Snow, Brandt, Henderson, Turner, Zhang. “Roads, Railroads and Decentralization of Chinese Cities,” Review of Economics and Statistics, 2017
  5. Week 5 (3/29): Equilibrium across Cities (lecture notes)
    • Required: Roback, Jennifer. “Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life,” Journal of Political Economy, 1982
    • Optional: 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: No class, 清明节
  7. Week 7 (4/12): Sorting within Cities (lecture notes)
    • Required: Bayer, Patrick, Ferreira, Fernando, and McMillan, Robert, “A Unified Framework for Measuring Preference for Schools and Neighborhoods,” Journal of Political Economy, 2007
    • 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): no class (to be made up later)
  9. Week 9 (4/26): Microfoundations of Agglomeration (lecture notes)
    • Required: Duranton, Gilles and Puga, Diego, “The Micro-Foundations of Urban Agglomeration Economies,” Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Vol 4, 2004
      1. Note: 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. The above link is to the final working paper, which is a clearer digital copy than the handbook article
    • Optional: Au, Chun-Chung and Henderson, J. Vernon, “Are Chinese Cities Too Small?”, Review of Economic Studies, 2006
    • 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): No class (劳动节)
  11. Week 11 (5/10): Agglomeration and Firm Concentration (lecture notes)
  12. Week 12 (5/17): Local Measures of Concentration
    1. Required: Dai, Tianran and Schiff, Nathan, “The Structure and Growth of Ethnic Neighborhoods,” Working Paper 2021
    2. Mapping website
  13. Week 13 (5/24): Spatial Methods in R
    1. Package for class exercise: zip file
    2. Gentzkow, Matthew and Shapiro, Jesse M., “Code and Data for the Social Sciences: A Practitioner’s Guide“, 2014
  14. Week 14 (5/31): New Economic Geography Models and an Application to China (lecture notes)
    1. Faber, Ben. “Trade Integration, Market Size, and Industrialization: Evidence from China’s National Trunk Highway System,” Review of Economic Studies, 2014.
    2. Appendix to Faber 2014
  15. Week 15 (6/7): Bartik Shocks (lecture notes, simple exercise and Stata code)
    1. Goldsmith-Pinkham, Paul, and Sorkin, Isaac, and Swift, Henry, “Bartik Instruments: What, When, Why, and How,” American Economic Review, 2020.
  16. Week 16 (6/21): Student presentations; Intro to Housing Economics (lecture notes)