Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 25, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412979290 | Print ISBN: 9781412961424 | Online ISBN: 9781412979290| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this handbook
Chapter 65: Urban Economics
James D. Burnell
Urban economics The field of urban economics was developed based on the observation that population and economic activity are concentrated in geographic space. Thus, one can define the field of urban economics as the study of the spatial relationships between individuals, households, and firms from an economic perspective. Much of urban economic analysis extends the maximizing behavior of individuals and firms from microeconomics to include how location affects this behavior. A focal point of urban economic analysis is how distance affects maximizing behavior. The fact that there is increased population and employment density at certain points in geographic space indicates that there are advantages of clustering of activity at certain locations. The concentration of activity also has consequences, both positive (i.e., enhanced productivity) and negative (i.e., increased congestion), and urban economists also consider these consequences. Urban economics had its origins in the area of location theory and regional economics. The ...