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http://ssrn.com/abstract=293959
 
 

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Cities and Warfare: The Impact of Terrorism on Urban Form


Edward L. Glaeser


Harvard University - John F. Kennedy School of Government, Department of Economics; Brookings Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jesse M. Shapiro


University of Chicago; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)


Harvard Institute of Economic Research Paper No. 1942

Abstract:     
What impact will terrorism have on America's cities? Historically, large-scale violence has impacted cities in three ways. First, concentrations of people have an advantage in defending themselves from attackers, making cities more appealing in times of violence. Second, cities often make attractive targets for violence, which creates an incentive for people to disperse. Finally, since warfare and terrorism often specifically target means of transportation, violence can increase the effective cost of transportation, which will usually increase the demand for density. Evidence on war and cities in the 20th century suggests that the effect of wars on urban form can be large (for example, Berlin in World War II), but more commonly neither terrorism nor wars have significantly altered urban form. As such, across America the effect of terrorism on cities is likely to be small. The only exception to this is downtown New York which, absent large-scale subsidies, will probably not be fully rebuilt. Furthermore, such subsidies make little sense to us.

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Date posted: December 14, 2001  

Suggested Citation

Glaeser, Edward L. and Shapiro, Jesse M., Cities and Warfare: The Impact of Terrorism on Urban Form. Harvard Institute of Economic Research Paper No. 1942. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=293959 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.293959

Contact Information

Edward L. Glaeser (Contact Author)
Harvard University - John F. Kennedy School of Government, Department of Economics ( email )
Littauer Center
Room 315A
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-2150 (Phone)
617-496-1722 (Fax)
Brookings Institution
1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036-2188
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
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United States
Jesse M. Shapiro
University of Chicago ( email )
5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-834-2688 (Phone)
773-834-8172 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://home.uchicago.edu/~jmshapir/
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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