Student Presentations

Objective and Guidelines: students should present a published paper (or very high quality working paper) related to a particular lecture in the class. The objective is to explain the main question of the paper, the method used to study this question, and the main results. Presentations should be between five and ten minutes; do not go over ten minutes. Since the presentation is short, you should keep the number of slides to a minimum. I would recommend five slides with text, plus one or two slides showing results (graphs, illustrative figures, or a simple table); there is no need for an outline. For empirical papers, presenters should make sure to clearly explain the identification strategy (for papers with a causal argument) or the novelty of the data analysis (for descriptive papers). You do not need to explain details of the data, robustness checks, or heterogeneity analysis unless this is a central focus of the paper. For theory papers, presenters should give a high level overview of the model and explain the main features. You do not try to go through every equation, nor explain any extensions of the basic model unless you think they are particularly important.

Below is a list of papers corresponding to each lecture (I will update these). You are also free to select a paper not on the list, but make sure to email me first so that I can confirm the paper is appropriate for the class.

  • Lecture 1: Introduction to Urban Economics and Urbanization in China
    • Papers on Zipf’s Law in China, including: Luckstead and Devadoss, Economic Letters, 2014; Soo, Papers in Regional Science, 2014; or others (get my approval first)
    • Combes, Demurger, Li, “Migration Externalities in Chinese cities,” European Economic Review, 2015
    • Glaeser, Lu, “Human-Capital Externalities in China”, NBER WP, 2018.
    • Combes, Demurger, Li, Wang, “Unequal Migration and Urbanisation Gains in China,” Journal of Development Economics, 2020
    • Dingel, Miscio, Davis, “Cities, Lights, and Skills in Developing Economies,” Journal of Urban Economics, 2020
    • Card, Rothstein, Yi, “Location, Location, Location,” U.S. Census Bureau Working Paper, 2023
    • An, Qin, Wu, You, “The Local Labor Market Effects of Relaxing Internal Migration Restrictions: Evidence from China,” Journal of Labor Economics, 2024
  • Lectures 2 and 3: The Monocentric City Model
    • Zheng and Kahn “Land and residential property markets in a booming economy: New evidence from Beijing,” Journal of Urban Economics, 2008
    • Liu, Rosenthal and Strange, “The Vertical City: Rent Gradients, Spatial Structure, and Agglomeration Economies,” Journal of Urban Economics, 2018
    • Harari, “Cities in Bad Shape: Urban Geometry in India,” American Economic Review, 2020
    • Zhou, Chen, Han, and Zhang, “The Effect of a Subway on House Prices: Evidence from Shanghai,” Real Estate Economics, 2021
    • Gupta,Van Nieuwerburgh, and Kontokosta, “Take the Q Train: Value Capture of Public Infrastructure Projects,” Journal of Urban Economics, 2022
    • Rosenthal, Strange, and Urrego, “Are City Centers Losing Their Appeal? Commercial Real Estate, Urban Spatial Structure, and COVID-19,” Journal of Urban Economics: Insight, 2022
    • Delventhal, Kwon, and Parkhomenko, “How do cities change when we work from home?” Journal of Urban Economics: Insight, 2022
    • Akbar, Couture, Duranton, Storeygard, “Mobility and Congestion in Urban India,” American Economic Review, 2023
    • Monte, Porcher, Rossi-Hansberg, “Remote Work and City Structure,” NBER Working Paper 31494, 2023
  • Lecture 4: Transportation and Decentralization in China
    • Baum-Snow, Nathaniel, “Did Highways Cause Suburbanization,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2007
    • Duranton, Gilles, Morrow, Peter, and Turner, Matthew, “Roads and Trade,” Review of Economic Studies, 2014
    • Donaldson, Dave, “Railroads of the Raj,” American Economic Review, 2015
    • Donaldson, Dave and Hornbeck, Richard, “Railroads and American Economic Growth: A ‘Market Access’ Approach,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2016
    • Storeygard, Adam, “Further on Down the Road,” Review of Economic Studies, 2016
    • Banerjee, Abhijit, Duflo, Esther, Qian, Nancy, “On the Road,” Journal of Development Economics, 2020
    • Morten, Melanie, “The Effects of Roads on Trade and Migration: Evidence from a Planned Capital City,” American Economic Journal: Applied, 2024
  • Lecture 5: Spatial Equilibrium
    • Zheng, Siqi, Fu, Yuming, Liu Hongyu, “Demand for Urban Quality of Living in China: Evolution in Compensating Land-Rent and Wage-Rate Differentials.” Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, 2009.
    • Albouy, David, “What are Cities Worth? Land Rents, Local Productivity, and the Total Value of Amenities,” Review of Economics and Statistics, 2016
    • Huang, Xuan and Lanz, Bruno, “The Value of Air Quality in Chinese Cities: Evidence from Labor and Property Market Outcomes,” Environmental and Resource Economics, 2017.
    • Fischer, Thomas, “Spatial Inequality and housing in China,” Journal of Urban Economics, 2023
  • Lecture 6: Place-based Policies
    • Kline, Patrick and Moretti, Enrico, “Local Economic Development, Agglomeration Economies, and the Big Push: 100 Years of Evidence from the Tennessee Valley Authority,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2014
    • Lu, Yi; Wang, Jin; and Zhu, Lianming, “Place-Based Policies, Creation, and Agglomeration Economies: Evidence from China’s Economic Zone Program”, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2019
    • Jia, Junxue; Ma, Guangrong; Qin, Cong; and Wang, Liyan, “Place-based policies, state-led industrialisation, and regional development: Evidence from China’s Great Western Development Programme”, European Economic Review, 2020.
    • Fan, Jingting and Zou, Ben, “Industrialization from scratch: The “Construction of Third Front” and local economic development in China’s hinterland”, Journal of Development Economics, 2021
    • Fang, Min; Han, Libin; Huang, Zibin; Lu, Ming; and Zhang, Li, “Place-Based Land Policy and Spatial Misallocation: Theory and Evidence from China,” WP 2022 (see website for latest version)
  • Lecture 7: Neighborhood Sorting