NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Wealth of Cities: Agglomeration Economies and Spatial Equilibrium in the United States

Edward L. Glaeser, Joshua D. Gottlieb

NBER Working Paper No. 14806
Issued in March 2009
NBER Program(s):   LS

Empirical research on cities starts with a spatial equilibrium condition: workers and firms are assumed to be indifferent across space. This condition implies that research on cities is different from research on countries, and that work on places within countries needs to consider population, income and housing prices simultaneously. Housing supply elasticity will determine whether urban success shows up in more people or higher incomes. Urban economists generally accept the existence of agglomeration economies, which exist when productivity rises with density, but estimating the magnitude of those economies is difficult. Some manufacturing firms cluster to reduce the costs of moving goods, but this force no longer appears to be important in driving urban success. Instead, modern cities are far more dependent on the role that density can play in speeding the flow of ideas. Finally, urban economics has some insights to offer related topics such as growth theory, national income accounts, public economics and housing prices.

download in pdf format
   (379 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (379 K) or via email.

This paper was revised on December 5, 2011

Acknowledgments

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w14806

Published: Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb, 2009. "The Wealth of Cities: Agglomeration Economies and Spatial Equilibrium in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(4), pages 983-1028, December.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Glaeser, Ponzetto, and Tobio w16934 Cities, Skills, and Regional Change
Overman and Puga Labor Pooling as a Source of Agglomeration: An Empirical Investigation
Glaeser Introduction to "Agglomeration Economics"
Combes, Duranton, Gobillon, and Roux Estimating Agglomeration Economies with History, Geology, and Worker Effects
Glaeser, Resseger, and Tobio w14419 Urban Inequality
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us