Lectures on Urban Economics

by Jan K. Brueckner

ISBN: 9780262300292 | Copyright 2011

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Lectures on Urban Economic s offers a rigorous but nontechnical treatment of major topics in urban economics. To make the book accessible to a broad range of readers, the analysis is diagrammatic rather than mathematical. Although nontechnical, the book relies on rigorous economic reasoning. In contrast to the cursory theoretical development often found in other textbooks, Lectures on Urban Economics offers thorough and exhaustive treatments of models relevant to each topic, with the goal of revealing the logic of economic reasoning while also teaching urban economics.

Topics covered include reasons for the existence of cities, urban spatial structure, urban sprawl and land-use controls, freeway congestion, housing demand and tenure choice, housing policies, local public goods and services, pollution, crime, and quality of life. Footnotes throughout the book point to relevant exercises, which appear at the back of the book. These 22 extended exercises (containing 125 individual parts) develop numerical examples based on the models analyzed in the chapters. Lectures on Urban Economics is suitable for undergraduate use, as background reading for graduate students, or as a professional reference for economists and scholars interested in the urban economics perspective.

This book is a very nice presentation of basic urban material. Brueckner has a great talent for taking complex ideas and models and putting them in readily accessible frameworks that capture the key points. Moreover he uses simple examples to illustrate the issues. The material should be accessible to advanced undergraduates and will provide insights for graduate students as well.

J Vernon Henderson Eastman Professor of Political Economy and Professor of Economics and Urban Studies, Brown University

Jan Brueckner's lucid Lectures on Urban Economics is a rigorous, but non-technical, analysis of the major topics in the field. The lectures survey topics of broad appeal to students, and they provide just enough detail”clear diagrams and tightly written prose”to support a definitive analysis. This slim volume has the hallmark of an excellent undergraduate text.

John Quigley I. Donald Turner Distinguished Professor and Professor of Economics, University of California, Berkeley
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Contents (pg. v)
Preface (pg. ix)
Chapter 1. Why Cities Exist (pg. 1)
1.1 Introduction (pg. 1)
1.2 Scale Economies (pg. 2)
1.3 Agglomeration Economies (pg. 5)
1.4 Transport Costs and Firm Location (pg. 10)
1.5 The Interaction of Scale Economies and Transportation Costs in the Formation of Cities (pg. 16)
1.6 Retail Agglomeration and the Economics of Shopping Centers (pg. 18)
1.7 Summary (pg. 20)
Chapter 2. Analyzing Urban Spatial Structure (pg. 23)
2.1 Introduction (pg. 23)
2.2 Basic Assumptions (pg. 25)
2.3 Commuting Cost (pg. 26)
2.4 Consumer Analysis (pg. 27)
2.5 Analysis of Housing Production (pg. 33)
2.6 Population Density (pg. 39)
2.7 Intercity Predictions (pg. 42)
2.8 Summary (pg. 50)
Chapter 3. Modifications of the Urban Model (pg. 51)
3.1 Introduction (pg. 51)
3.2 A City with Two Income Groups (pg. 51)
3.3 Commuting by Freeway (pg. 56)
3.4 Adding Employment Outside the CBD (pg. 57)
3.5 Durable Housing Capital (pg. 61)
3.6 Cities in Developing Countries (pg. 65)
3.7 Summary (pg. 68)
Chapter 4. Urban Sprawl and Land-Use Controls (pg. 69)
4.1 Introduction (pg. 69)
4.2 Empirical Evidence on the Spatial Sizes of Cities (pg. 70)
4.3 Market Failures and Urban Sprawl (pg. 73)
4.4 Behavioral Impacts of Urban Sprawl (pg. 80)
4.5 Using Land-Use Controls to Attack Urban Sprawl (pg. 80)
4.6 Other Types of Land-Use Controls (pg. 84)
4.7 Summary (pg. 89)
Chapter 5. Freeway Congestion (pg. 91)
5.1 Introduction (pg. 91)
5.2 Congestion Costs (pg. 92)
5.3 The Demand for Freeway Use (pg. 95)
5.4 Traffi c Allocations: Equilibrium and Social Optimum (pg. 99)
5.5 Congestion Tolls (pg. 104)
5.6 Choice of Freeway Capacity (pg. 110)
5.7 Application to Airport Congestion (pg. 112)
5.8 Summary (pg. 114)
Chapter 6. Housing Demand and Tenure Choice (pg. 115)
6.1 Introduction (pg. 115)
6.2 Housing Demand: The Traditional and Hedonic Approaches (pg. 116)
6.3 The User Costs of Housing (pg. 119)
6.4 Tenure Choice (pg. 124)
6.5 Down-Payment Requirements, Tenure Choice, and Mortgage Default (pg. 130)
6.6 Property Abuse and Tenure Choice (pg. 133)
6.7 Summary (pg. 136)
Chapter 7. Housing Policies (pg. 137)
7.1 Introduction (pg. 137)
7.2 Rent Control (pg. 137)
7.3 Housing-Subsidy Programs (pg. 145)
7.4 Homelessness and Policies to Correct It (pg. 153)
7.5 Summary (pg. 157)
Chapter 8. Local Public Goods and Services (pg. 159)
8.1 Introduction (pg. 159)
8.2 The Socially Optimal Level of a Public Good (pg. 161)
8.3 Majority Voting and Voting with One’s Feet (pg. 163)
8.4 Public-Good Congestion and Jurisdiction Sizes (pg. 174)
8.5 Capitalization and Property-Value Maximization (pg. 179)
8.6 Tax and Welfare Competition (pg. 183)
8.7 Summary (pg. 185)
Chapter 9. Pollution (pg. 187)
9.1 Introduction (pg. 187)
9.2 Pollution from a Single Factory and Governmental Remedies (pg. 188)
9.3 Bargaining as a Path to the Social Optimum: The Coase Theorem (pg. 196)
9.4 Cap-and-Trade Systems (pg. 200)
9.5 Evidence on Air Pollution and Property Values (pg. 204)
9.6 Summary (pg. 205)
Chapter 10. Crime (pg. 207)
10.1 Introduction (pg. 207)
10.2 The Economic Theory of Crime (pg. 208)
10.3 Additional Aspects of the Theory (pg. 215)
10.4 How to Divide a Police Force Between Rich and Poor Neighborhoods (pg. 221)
10.5 Summary (pg. 229)
Chapter 11. Urban Quality-of-Life Measurement (pg. 231)
11.1 Introduction (pg. 231)
11.2 Theory: The Roback Model (pg. 233)
11.3 Measuring Urban Quality of Life (pg. 241)
11.4 Additional Issues (pg. 244)
11.5 Summary (pg. 245)
Exercises (pg. 247)
References (pg. 273)
Index (pg. 281)
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