Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 7 No. 3 (Summer 1993)


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The Causes of Metropolitan Suburbanization

Article Citation

Mieszkowski, Peter, and Edwin S. Mills. 1993. "The Causes of Metropolitan Suburbanization." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 7(3): 135-147.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.7.3.135


In this paper, we investigate the causes of metropolitan suburbanization. We consider two classes of theories of suburbanization, both of which are important: the first, favored by urban theorists and transportation experts, might be called a natural evolution theory; the second stresses the fiscal and social problems of central cities. We sketch the monocentric model of urban areas, discuss the gradient measure of suburbanization, and offer some cross-country comparisons of suburbanization. Finally we present conclusions and policy implications.

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Mieszkowski, Peter (Rice U)
Mills, Edwin S. (Northwestern U)

JEL Classifications

R11: Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, and Changes


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