Found 78 article(s) for author 'Edward Glaeser'

Reforming land use regulations

Reforming land use regulations. Edward Glaeser, April 22, 2017, Opinion, “Arguably, land use controls have a more widespread impact on the lives of ordinary Americans than any other regulation. These controls, typically imposed by localities, make housing more expensive and restrict the growth of America’s most successful metropolitan areas. These regulations have accreted over time with virtually no cost-benefit analysis. Restricting growth is often locally popular. Promoting affordability is hardly a financially attractive aim for someone who owns a home. Yet the maze of local land use controls imposes costs on outsiders, and on the American economy as a whole.Link

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Urban Productivity in the Developing World

Urban Productivity in the Developing World. Edward Glaeser, March 2017, Paper, “Africa is urbanizing rapidly, and this creates both opportunities and challenges. Labor productivity appears to be much higher in developing-world cities than in rural areas, and historically urbanization is strongly correlated with economic growth. Education seems to be a strong complement to urbanization, and entrepreneurial human capital correlates strongly with urban success. Immigrants provide a natural source of entrepreneurship, both in the U.S. and in Africa, which suggests that making African cities more livable can generate economic benefits by attracting talent. Reducing the negative externalities of urban life requires a combination of infrastructure, incentives, and institutions. Appropriate institutions can mean independent public authorities, public-private partnerships, and non-profit entities depending on the setting.Link

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How The Great Recession Changed Economic Thought

How The Great Recession Changed Economic Thought. Edward Glaeser, 2017, Book, “The past three decades have been characterized by vast change and crises in global financial markets—and not in politically unstable countries but in the heart of the developed world, from the Great Recession in the United States to the banking crises in Japan and the Eurozone. As we try to make sense of what caused these crises and how we might reduce risk factors and prevent recurrence, the fields of finance and economics have also seen vast change, as scholars and researchers have advanced their thinking to better respond to the recent crises.Link

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The Political Economy of Transportation Investment

The Political Economy of Transportation Investment. Edward Glaeser, January 2017, Paper, “Will politics lead to over-building or under-building of transportation projects? In this paper, we develop a model of infrastructure policy in which politicians overdo things that have hidden costs and underperform tasks whose costs voters readily perceive. Consequently, national funding of transportation leads to overspending, since voters more readily perceive the upside of new projects than the future taxes that will be paid for distant highways. Yet when local voters are well-informed, the highly salient nuisances of local construction, including land taking and noise, lead to under-building. This framework explains the decline of urban mega-projects in the US (Altshuler and Lubero§ 2003) as the result of increasingly educated and organized urban voters. Our framework also predicts more per capita transportation spending in low-density and less educated areas, which seems to be empirically correct.Link

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Urban Economics for the Developing World: An Introduction

Urban Economics for the Developing World: An Introduction. Edward Glaeser, 2017, Paper, “This is an introduction to the special issue of the Journal of Urban Economics on “Urbanization in Developing Countries: Past and Present”. We argue that the rapid urbanization and the rise of cities in the developing world demand new avenues of research and much more research to deal with the urban issues facing billions of people across the world that current work barely covers. This issue contains papers which move in that direction and signals a commitment by the journal to pursue this agenda.LInk

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Real Estate Bubbles and Urban Development

Real Estate Bubbles and Urban Development. Edward Glaeser, December 2016, Paper, “Why are real estate bubbles so common? Can these bubbles actually do some good? Real estate booms have regularly occurred throughout the world leaving painful busts and financial crises in their wake. This paper suggests that real estate is a natural investment for more passive debt investors, including banks, because real estate’s flexibility makes it better collateral than specifically built production facilities. Passive capital’s preference for real estate will be particularly strong when agency problems bedevil equity investments. Consequently, passive capital may flow disproportionately into real estate and the errors of passive capital can generate real estate bubbles.Link

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A Real Estate Boom with Chinese Characteristics

A Real Estate Boom with Chinese Characteristics. Edward Glaeser, Andrei Shleifer, October 2016, Paper, “Chinese housing prices rose by over 10 percent per year in real terms between 2003 and 2014, and are now between two and ten times higher than the construction cost of apartments. At the same time, Chinese developers built 100 billion square feet of residential real estate. This boom has been accompanied by a large increase in the number of vacant homes, held by both developers and households. This boom may turn out to be a housing bubble followed by a crash, yet that future is far from certain. The demand for real estate in China is so strong that current prices might be sustainable, especially given the sparse alternative investments for Chinese households, so long as the level of new supply is radically curtailed.Link

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Securing Property Rights

Securing Property Rights. Edward Glaeser, Andrei Shleifer, September 2016, Paper, “A central challenge in securing property rights is the subversion of justice through legal skill, bribery, or physical force by the strong—the state or its powerful citizens—against the weak. We present evidence that the less educated and poorer citizens in many countries feel their property rights are least secure. We then present a model of a farmer and a mine which can pollute his farm in a jurisdiction where the mine can subvert law enforcement. We show that, in this model, injunctions or other forms of property rules work better than compensation for damage or liability rules. The equivalences of the Coase Theorem break down in realistic ways. The case for injunctions is even stronger when parties can invest in power. Our approach sheds light on several controversies in law and economics, but also applies to practical problems in developing countries, such as low demand for formality, law enforcement under uncertain property rights, and unresolved conflicts between environmental damage and development.Link

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Infrastructure, Incentives and Institutions

Infrastructure, Incentives and Institutions. Edward Glaeser, January 2016, Paper. “Cities generate negative, as well as positive, externalities; addressing those externalities requires both infrastructure and institutions. Providing clean water and removing refuse requires water and sewer pipes, but the urban poor are often unwilling to pay for the costs of that piping. Standard welfare economics teaches us that either subsidies or Pigouvian fines can solve that problem, but both solution are problematic when institutions are weak. Subsidies lead to waste and corruption; fines lead to extortion of the innocent. Zambia has attempted to solve its problem with subsidies alone, but the subsidies have been too small to solve the “last-mile problem” and so most poor households remain unconnected to the water and sewer system. In nineteenth-century New York, subsidies also proved insufficient and were largely replaced by a penalty-based system … Link

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Cities Need To Encourage Entrepreneurship, Not Class Warfare

Cities Need To Encourage Entrepreneurship, Not Class Warfare. Edward Glaeser, December 1, 2015, Opinion. “Urban America’s problems of poverty and joblessness are real. Progressives have been elected to address those problems, but their simple big-government solutions — updated but essentially the same as those tried in the past — are almost sure to fail. We need a more forward-looking urban-policy approach.  While many agree that entrepreneurship is good for cities and their residents, little consensus exists about what policymakers can do to promote it, especially in high-poverty areas. Public loans or loan guarantees for entrepreneurs are the most commonly applied policies. Unfortunately, we have no examples of truly randomized lending, which is what would be necessary in order to evaluate whether the government loan programs worked. Absent such experiments, the best we can do is compare companies that received such aid with similar firms that didn’t, and see how they fared …” Link

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