Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 12 No. 2 (Spring 1998)


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Are Cities Dying?

Article Citation

Glaeser, Edward L. 1998. "Are Cities Dying?" Journal of Economic Perspectives, 12(2): 139-160.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.12.2.139


This paper organizes a discussion of the costs and benefits of cities around the question: Are cities becoming obsolete? While minimizing transport costs for manufactured goods no longer justifies the existence of cities, they still facilitate the division of labor and the flow of ideas. Cities' higher housing, commuting, and pollution costs seem stable over time. Only the costs associated with urban poverty may increase and these costs do not effect many newer cities. Although many older cities will continue their decline, the future of the urban form seems surprisingly bright.

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Glaeser, Edward L. (Harvard U and NBER)

JEL Classifications

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


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