Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=412880
 
 

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Sprawl and Urban Growth


Edward L. Glaeser


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

Matthew E. Kahn


University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

May 2003

NBER Working Paper No. w9733

Abstract:     
Cities can be thought of as the absence of physical space between people and firms. As such, they exist to eliminate transportation costs for goods, people and ideas and transportation technologies dictate urban form. In the 21st century, the dominant form of city living is based on the automobile and this form is sometimes called sprawl. In this essay, we document that sprawl is ubiquitous and that it is continuing to expand. Using a variety of evidence, we argue that sprawl is not the result of explicit government policies or bad urban planning, but rather the inexorable product of car-based living. Sprawl has been associated with significant improvements in quality of living, and the environmental impacts of sprawl have been offset by technological change. Finally, we suggest that the primary social problem associated with sprawl is the fact that some people are left behind because they do not earn enough to afford the cars that this form of living requires.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 74

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Date posted: June 1, 2003  

Suggested Citation

Glaeser, Edward L. and Kahn, Matthew E., Sprawl and Urban Growth (May 2003). NBER Working Paper No. w9733. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=412880

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)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Matthew E. Kahn
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ( email )
405 Hilgard Avenue
Box 951361
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States
HOME PAGE: http://mek1966.googlepages.com
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