Economics for Planners
Cities are run by city-governments. These governments are providers of infrastructure and goods themselves and they also regulate the provision of goods by private firms; they promote health and welfare through land use and environmental regulation; and they are charged with ensuring that political power and economic resources will be distributed equitably. Yet governments operate in societies where resource allocation is governed primarily by markets. Economics provides tools, frequently controversial, to guide decisions about when and how government should be involved in providing or subsidizing services and in shaping market activity.
The first part of the course covers the fundamentals of economic analysis. The rest of the course applies these tools to urban issues. The articles that the course covers are posted on courseworks.
The books for this course are on reserve:
Moshe Adler, Economics for the Rest of Us, the New Press, 2010 (also in Chines and Korean)
Heilbrun James, Urban Economics and Public Policy
Roger G. Noll and Andrew Zimbalist, Editors, Sports, Jobs, and Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums, Brookings Institute Press, Washington D.C., 1997
Hal Varian: Intermediate Micro
Peter Lindert, Growing public: social spending and economic growth since the eighteenth century, Cambridge, 2004.
Articles are in a reader available from Village Copier, 1181 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10027 (212) 666-4777.
You will benefit from reading the first assignment before the first class.
Weekly assignment --30% of grade
I. The Market and Pareto Efficiency
Adler, Chapters 2-4
Adler, Chapters 1-3
III. Planning in whose interest?
01. George J. Stigler, “The Theory of Economic Regulation,” The Bell Journal of Economics, 1971, pp. 3-21.
02. John G. Matsusaka, Direct Democracy Works, Journal of Economic Perspective, Vol. 19, No. 2, Spring 2005
The Voting Paradox
03. Emily Badger, “The Bipartisan Cry of ‘Not in My Backyard’ ,” The New York Times, August 21, 2018
IV. Fundamentals of Policy Evaluation
Marginal Cost Pricing
04. Class Presentation
Consumer and Producer Surpluses:
Income levels and the demand for public goods
05. Laurie Bates and Rexford Santerre, “The Public Demand for Open Space,” Journal of Urban Economics, 50, 97-111, 2001.
Policy Evaluation in practice
07. Gerald Carlino and N. Edward Coulson, “Compensating differentials and the social benefits of the NFL,”Journal of Urban Economics, 56, 2004, 25–50.
V. Public Goods
The Economics of Public Goods
Class Presentation (Lindhal taxation)
08. Class Presentation
Public Goods and Economic Efficiency
09. Laurie Bates and Rexford Santerre, “The impact of a state mandated expenditure floor on aggregate property values,” Journal of Urban Economics, 53, 531-540, May, 2003
10. Zhiqiang Liu . “The external returns to education: Evidence from Chinese cities.” Journal of Urban Economics, Volume 61, Number 3 (May 2007), pp. 542-564
11.a Henrik Jacobsen Kleven, “How Can Scandinavians Tax So Much?” Journal of Economic Perspectives—Volume 28, Number 4—Fall 2014—Pages 77–98
VI. The Effect of Technology and New Plants on Cities and Work
13. Edward Glaeser, “Are Cities Dying?” Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 12, No. 2 (Spring, 1998), 139-160
14. Sari Pekkala Kerr, William Kerr, Çaglar Özden, and Christopher Parsons ,"Global Talent Flows," Journal of Economic Perspectives—Volume 30, Number 4—Fall 2016—Pages 83–106
15. J.Vernon Henderson, "Cities and Development," Journal of Regional Science, 50, 1, 2010, 515-540
VII. Transportation and Mass Transit:
Getting People Out of the Car and onto Mass Transit
Roads and Traffic
18. S. Cairns, S. Atkins and P. Goodwin, "Disappearing traffic? The story so far." http://www.onestreet.org/images/stories/Disappearing_traffic.pdf
19. Ronald Coase, "The Problem of Social Cost," Journal of Law and Economics, 1960
21. Edward Glaeser and Joseph Gyourko, “The Economic Implications of Housing
X-XI. Segregation and Intervention
23. Bo Zhao, Jan Ondrich and John Yinger "Why do real estate brokers continue to discriminate? Evidence from the 2000 Housing Discrimination Study," Journal of Urban Economics, May 2006 Pages 394-419.
24. Andrew Hanson, Zackary Hawley “Do landlords discriminate in the rental housing market? Evidence from an internet field experiment in US cities,” Journal of Urban Economics, 70 (2011) 90-114
25. Justin McCrary, “The Effect of Court-Ordered Hiring Quotas on the Composition and Quality of Police,” The American Economic Review, March 2007, 318-353
26. David M Cutler, Edward L Glaeser and Jacob L Vigdor "The rise and decline of the American ghetto," The Journal of Political Economy, June 1999.
XII. Subverting the Plan
27. John D Donahue, "Tiebout? Or not Tiebout? The market metaphor and America's devolution debate," The Journal of Economic Perspectives, Fall 1997, 73-82.
28. Dowding, Keith; John, Peter; Biggs, Stephen, "Tiebout: A survey of the empirical literature," Urban Studies, 767-790, May 1994.
29. Schmidt, Amy B., "Private School Enrollment in Metropolitan Areas," Public Finance Quarterly, July 1992, 398-321.
XIII. Welfare, Wages and Poverty
30. Hilary W. Hoynes, Marianne E. Page and Ann Huff Stevens, "Poverty in America: Trends and Explanations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, Volume 20, Number 1, Winter 2006, Pages 47-68
31. Timothy Smeeding, “Poor People in Rich Nations: The United States in Comparative Perspective,” Journal of Economic Perspectives—Volume 20, Number 1, Winter 2006, Pages 69–90
33. Moshe Adler, "Theories of Wages," Economics for the Rest of Us, Chapters 9-12.
XIV. The Bottom Line
34. Lindert, Growing Public, chs. 1, 7, 10, 11
The syllabus page shows a table-oriented view of the course schedule, and the basics of course grading. You can add any other comments, notes, or thoughts you have about the course structure, course policies or anything else.
To add some comments, click the "Edit" link at the top.