Urban Economics
Spring 2005 GMU Tentative Syllabus

Economics 350, meets TT, 1:30-2:45pm, during Spring 2005, in room Enterprise 274.

Instructor: Robin D. Hanson, Asst. Professor, Economics (rhanson@gmu.edu, http://hanson.gmu.edu)
Office Hours: Officially TT 10:30-12:00am. But I'm usually in at 10b Carow Hall. Call ahead (703-993-2326) if you want to be sure.
Goal of Class To become familiar with basic facts and issues in urban economics, and to be able to make an economically-coherent defense of one's opinions on the topic.

Catalog Entry:

350 Regional and Urban Economics (3:3:0) Prerequisite: ECON 306 or permission of instructor. Regional development and metropolitan growth, including locational decisions of households and firms, and problems associated with high-density urban economic activity.
Recommended Text: (None are required.)
Arthur O'Sullivan, Urban Economics, MacGraw-Hill Irwin, 2003, ISBN 0-07-248784-4, Sample Price $121.
Assignments: Due Dates: Grade Weights: Class Participate 5%, 13% per Quiz, 13% per Defended Opinions, 17% final.

DatesText Ch.Lecture Topic
30 Aug, 1 Sept1,Appendix Introduction & Econ Review
6,8 Sept Welfare Analysis Review
13,15 Sept 2,3 Economies of Agglomoration
20,22 Sept 3 Cities
27,29 Sept 4,5 Firm Locations
4,6 Oct 7,8 Moncentric City
13 Oct 8,9 Real Cities no class Tuesday
18,20 Oct 10 Zoning
25,27 Oct 10 More Zoning
1,3 Nov 11,12 Cars and Trains
8,10 Nov 13,17,18 Housing
15,17 Nov 13,17,18More Housing
22 Nov 14,15 Urban Poverty
29 Nov, 1 Dec 19,20 Government
6,8 Dec Review & Slack

Defended Opinion Topics

  1. Should federal welfare correct for the local cost of living?
  2. Which should local governments prefer to subsidize or require: wireless internet, or sidewalks?
  3. Should state goverments prefer to privatize: education or landscaping/gardening?