Thursday, August 26, 2004

Two Interesting Papers

These look interesting:
The Rise of the Skilled City

Harvard University - Department of Economics; The Brookings Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School - Real Estate Department

Harvard Institute of Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 2025

For more than a century, educated cities have grown more quickly than comparable cities with less human capital. This fact survives a battery of other control variables, metropolitan area fixed effects and tests for reverse causality. We also find that skilled cities are growing because they are becoming more economically productive (relative to less skilled cities), not because these cities are becoming more attractive places to live. Most surprisingly, we find evidence suggesting that the skills-city growth connection occurs mainly in declining areas and occurs in large part because skilled cities are better at adapting to economic shocks. As in Schultz (1964), skills appear to permit adaptation.

Opportunities, Race, and Urban Location: The Influence of John Kain

Harvard University - Department of Economics; The Brookings Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Stanford University - Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics

Harvard Institute of Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 2030

Today, no economist studying the spatial economy of urban areas would ignore the effects of race on housing markets and labor market opportunities, but this was not always the case. Through what can be seen as a consistent and integrated research plan, John Kain developed many central ideas of urban economics but, more importantly, legitimized and encouraged scholarly consideration of the geography of racial opportunities. His provocative (and prescient) study of the linkage between housing segregation and the labor market opportunities of Blacks was a natural outgrowth of his prior work on employment decentralization and housing constraints on Black households. His more recent program of research on school outcomes employing detailed administrative data was an extension of the same empirical interest in how the economic opportunities of minority households vary with location. This paper identifies the influence of John Kain's ideas on different areas of research and suggests that his scientific work was thoroughly interrelated.
For some reason, I was surprised to see Glaeser and Hanushek as co-authors. I was familiar with Glaeser's work on urban housing prices, and Hanushek is most famous for his many articles on school performance.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My girlfriend worked for John Kain back in the 1970s and Ric Hanushek was one of his grad students. Kain was a good guy, who was more than a little disappointed when he did not win the John Bates Clark Medal in 1975 for "outstanding American economist under 40." That was the last year he was eligible. The award went instead to Dan McFadden, who shared the Nobel in 2000.

When some of us think of a second JFK, we think of John Forrest Kain, not John Forbes Kerry.

1:04 PM  

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