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Urban Resurgence and the Consumer City

Edward L. Glaeser and Joshua Gottlieb ()
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Edward L. Glaeser: Department of Economics, Harvard University and NBER, Littauer Center, 1875 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA, eglaeser@harvard.edu

Urban Studies, 2006, vol. 43, issue 8, 1275-1299

Abstract: Cities make it easier for humans to interact, and one of the main advantages of dense, urban areas is that they facilitate social interactions. This paper provides evidence for the US suggesting that the resurgence of big cities in the 1990s is due, in part, to the increased demand for these interactions and due to the reduction in big city crime, which had made it difficult for urban residents to enjoy these social amenities. However, while density is correlated with consumer amenities, we show that it is not correlated with social capital and that there is no evidence that sprawl has hurt civic engagement.

Date: 2006
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