Monday, October 31, 2005

Economics of Cities

The most recent (Third Quarter, 2005) issue of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's Business Review has an interesting article on the Economic Role of Cities in the 21st Century.

The article brought to mind a number of resources that can be recommended to any teacher wishing to tackle the topic in class. I'm not sure how many teachers, particularly in high school, spend a lot of time on the topic; economic growth does offer a good opportunity to integrate other topics such as interdependence, externalities, public and private goods, and the role of government, just to name a few.

The resources that were brought to mind were the following: The Economy of Cities and The Death and Life of Great American Cities both by Jane Jacobs and Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West by William Cronon. All three should be available through on-line or local bookstores.

The first two are books that grabbed my attention quite a few years ago. The Death and Life of Great American Cities was actually reissued in 1992, while the first title is at least 30 years old. Nevertheless, both were helpful to me in seeing the development of cities in economic terms.

The third book was given to me as a gift a few years ago and I've only recently gotten around to reading it. It is interesting because of the author's ability to weave together economics, history, geography, and environmental science. And because it has an interdisciplinary approach is helpful in providing information as well as anecdotes for the classroom.

Feel free to share any comments on these or other books on the topic, or ideas on their use in the classroom.

Another interesting article on urban economics is in the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's Economic Review for the third quarter of 2005. The article is titled The Shared Fortunes of Cities and Suburbs.

Posted by TSchilling at 4:40 PM Comments (0)

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