COVID-19 and the associated rise of remote work has shocked many of the world's cities, but cities have been through far worse in the past, argues Professor Edward Glaeser, a world expert on the economics of cities.
Disease, natural destruction and wars have all shaped urban trajectories. Cities have also been rocked by shifts in transportation technology and economic transformations. Shocks to physical capital appear to be far more transitory than shocks to human capital. Remote work has been particularly disruptive because the most skilled are the most likely to connect through cyberspace. Yet despite all this, there are good reasons to be optimistic about our urban world in the medium term, especially if wealthy countries prioritize preventing future pandemics.
Meet our Speaker
Edward Glaeser is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics and the Chairman of the Department of Economics at Harvard University, where he has taught microeconomic theory, and occasionally urban and public economics, since 1992. He has published dozens of papers on cities economic growth, law, and economics. In particular, his work has focused on the determinants of city growth and the role of cities as centers of idea transmission. His most recent book is Survival of the City: Mass Flourishing in an Age of Social Isolation (Penguin Press, 2021). Other books include Cities, Agglomeration, and Spatial Equilibrium (Oxford University Press, 2008), Rethinking Federal Housing Policy (American Enterprise Institute Press, 2008), and Triumph of the City (Penguin Press, 2011). Profesor Glaeser received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1992. He has served as Director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government, and Director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston.
Meet our Chair
Professor Max Schulze is Professor of Economic History at LSE. His research interests include historical economic geography, economic development of the Habsburg Empire, goods and capital market integration and long-run economic growth and convergence.
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