Urban Growth in the 1990s: Is City Living Back?

27 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2003

See all articles by Edward L. Glaeser

Edward L. Glaeser

Harvard University - Department of Economics; Brookings Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jesse M. Shapiro

Brown University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Abstract

The 1990s were an unusually good decade for the largest American cities and, in particular, for the cities of the Midwest. However, fundamentally urban growth in the 1990s looked extremely similar to urban growth during prior post-war decades. The growth of cities was determined by three main trends: (1) cities with strong human capital bases grew faster than cities without skills, (2) people moved to warmer, drier places, and (3) cities built around the automobile replaced cities that rely on public transportation. Although the negative impact of population density diminished slightly in the 1990s, there is no real evidence for a return to large, dense cities.

Suggested Citation

Glaeser, Edward L. and Shapiro, Jesse M., Urban Growth in the 1990s: Is City Living Back?. Journal of Regional Science, Vol. 43, pp. 139-165, 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=388552

Edward L. Glaeser (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Jesse M. Shapiro

Brown University - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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