Makro-Pic Cities and Development

Block Seminar: January 22-23, 2016
Location: tba
Kickoff Meeting: Nov, 16, 4pm, Oec 1.164
Submission of Application Form: until Nov, 29th
Final Meeting: January, 14th, 4pm, T0.132 Seminar Info: info
Course material for participants is available at the course material webpage


In this master seminar we investigate the economic, geographic, and politcal determinants of city size and growth, the impact of economic development on urbanization, the evolution of city size in developed vs. developing countries, the role of cities for innovation and growth, the features of cities as networks and more.


1. Rural-Urban Migration and Unemployment

Reference: Brueckner, J.K., and Zenou, Y. (1999). Harris-Todaro models with a land market. Regional Science and Urban Economics 29, 317-339.

2. The Structure of Cities

Reference: Brueckner, J. K. (1987). The structure of urban equilibria: A unified treatment of the Muth-Mills model. Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics 2, 821-845.

3. Knowledge Externalities and City Sizes

Reference: Abdel-Rahman, H., and Fujita, M. (1990). Product variety, Marshallian externalities, and city sizes. Journal of Regional Science 30, 165-183.

4. A Theory of Urban Growth

Reference: Black, D., and Henderson, V. (1999). A theory of urban growth. Journal of Political Economy 107, 252-284.

5. Human Capital Externalities in Cities

Reference: Moretti, E. (2004). Human capital externalities in cities. Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics 4, 2243-2291.

6. The Rise of the Skilled City

Reference: Glaeser, E.L., Saiz, A., Burtless, G., and Strange, W.C. (2004). The rise of the skilled city. Brookings-Wharton Papers on Urban Affairs, 47-105.

7. Cities and Economic Growth

Reference: Henderson, J.V. (2003), The urbanization process and economic growth: The so-what question, Journal of Economic Growth (8), 47–71.

8. The Costs of Remoteness:

Reference: Redding, S. J., and Sturm, D.M. (2008). The Costs of remoteness: Evidence from German division and reunification. American Economic Review 98, 1766-97.

9. Path Dependence of Cities

Reference: Bleakley, H., and Lin, J. (2012). Portage and path dependence. Quarterly Journal of Economics 127, 587-644.

10. Explaining Urban Giants

Reference: Ades, A.F., and Glaeser, E.L. (1995). Trade and circuses: Explaining urban giants. Quarterly Journal of Economics 110, 195-227.

11. Nursery Cities

Reference: Duranton, G., and Puga, D. (2001). Nursery cities: Urban diversity, process innovation, and the life cycle of products. American Economic Review 91, 1454-1477.

12. The Mortality Transition and the Rise of Poor Mega-Cities

Reference: Jedwab, R., and Vollrath, D. (2015). The mortality transition, Malthusian dynamics, and the rise of poor mega-cities. Working Paper, Department of Economics, George Washuington University.

13. Causes and Consequences of Urbanization in Poorer Countries

Reference: Glaeser, E.L. (2014). A world of cities: The causes and consequences of urbanization in poorer countries. Journal of the European Economic Association 12, 1154-1199.

14. Urbanization in the Very Long Run

Reference: Motamed, M.J., Florax, R.J., and Masters, W.A. (2014). Agriculture, transportation and the timing of urbanization: Global analysis at the grid cell level. Journal of Economic Growth 19, 339-368.

15. Cities as Networks

Reference: Bettencourt, L.M. (2013). The origins of scaling in cities. Science 340, 1438-1441 (and Supplement).