Edward Glaeser interview: On urbanization, the future of small towns, and “Yes In My Back Yard”

David Price of Richmond Fed interviews Prof Ed Galesar of Harvard Univ:

Harvard University’s Edward Glaeser, considered by many to be the foremost economist of cities and of the forces influencing their development, is known for defending the role of cities as places where businesses and residents can exploit the benefits of social and economic interactions.

As a teenager, he lived on the Upper East Side of New York during the Bonfire of the Vanities era. His eventual specialization in urban economics was influenced, he says, by his growing up in the city during its times of crisis and recovery. “My childhood was shaped by the arc of New York City during the ’70s and ’80s, first as a period of startling decline as crime rates exploded and the city teetered on the brink of bankruptcy, and then its remarkable comeback,” he remembers. “And it was hard as a child not to wonder at this amazing variety of things that were happening in the city.”

Glaeser was promoted to chair of Harvard’s economics department in July. He has authored scores of journal articles and book chapters and is a member of the editorial board of five journals of urban or regional economics. He is the author or editor of 12 books, many of them on the economics of cities or on housing policy. His most recent, Survival of the City: Living and Thriving in an Age of Isolation, written with Harvard colleague David Cutler, was published in September.

Prof Galesar usually has interesting things to say on urbanisation and this interview is no different…

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