Frontiers in Urban Economics

Frontiers of Urban Economics:

Conference for PhD Students


Sponsored by the Columbia University Department of Economics and the Urban Economics Association


November 5-7, 2015

Organized by Donald R. Davis, Gilles Duranton, and Thomas Holmes 


This conference is designed for Economics PhD students with an interest in urban and regional topics. We invite participation from students in Labor, Development, Public, Trade, and other applied fields, in addition to those specialized in Urban and Regional Economics. The conference will be launched Thursday evening with a policy discussion on affordable housing. Full day sessions on Friday and Saturday will have the format of a “Handbook Conference,” in which leading researchers will provide a guide to the research frontier across a variety of urban and regional topics. The aim is to stimulate research on important topics in the field.


Thursday November 5, 6:00-7:30p

Presidential Room, Faculty House, Columbia University

Affordable Housing for All? A Policy Discussion

Carl Weisbrod, Chairman, New York City Planning Commission

Gilles Duranton (The Wharton School)

Ingrid Gould Ellen (New York University) 

Chaired by: Donald R. Davis, (Columbia)


Friday November 6

501 Schermerhorn Hall

8:00 - 8:30 Breakfast
8:30 - 9:45 Costas Arkolakis (Yale), “Advances in Gravity models of Spatial Economics”
9:45 -11:00Edward Glaeser (Harvard), “Cities in the Developing World”
11:00 -11:30Coffee Break
11:15 -1:00 Panel Session: Short Presentations of PhD Job Market Students, Chaired by Thomas Holmes (Minnesota)
1:00 - 2:00 Lunch               
2:00 - 3:15Jessie Handbury (Wharton), "Consumption Amenities and Location Decisions: Measurement Issues”
3:15 - 3:30Coffee Break
3:30 - 4:45

Jonathan Dingel (Chicago Booth), “Spatial Sorting of Skills, Sectors”

4:45 - 6:00 Enrico Moretti (Berkeley), “Why Do Cities Matter? Local Growth and Aggregate Growth”
6:30 Conference Dinner 


Saturday November 7

1501 International Affairs Building


8:30-9:45Stephen Redding (Princeton), "Quantitative Models of Urban Economics"
9:45 -11:00 Nate Baum-Snow (Brown), “Urbanization and Inequality"
11:00 -11:30 Coffee Break
11:30 -12:45 Brendan O’Flaherty (Columbia) and Rajiv Sethi (Barnard), “Crime in Cities” 
12:45 -2:00  Lunch
2:00 - 3:15Rebecca Diamond (Stanford), “Affordable Housing”
3:15 - 3:30 Coffee Break
3:30-4:45 Gilles Duranton (Wharton), “Urban Land Use”

The conference is co-sponsored by the Department of Economics, Columbia University and the Urban Economics Association. Generous funding and support has also come from the Office of the Provost at Columbia University, the Program in Economic Research at Columbia University, the Sustainable Development PhD program at the School of International and Public Affairs, and the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate at Columbia Business School