Cover: City Economics, from Harvard University PressCover: City Economics in HARDCOVER

City Economics

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Product Details


$93.50 • £74.95 • €84.00

ISBN 9780674019188

Publication Date: 10/30/2005


608 pages

53 line illustrations


This book is firmly located in urban economics, and it adopts a deliberate and provocative approach to the usual subject headings and methodological debates in this area. It will be attractive to undergraduates in geography, economics, sociology and politics as well as to taught masters in courses in public administration, urban policy, public policy, transport and government. Students and teachers will be attracted to its no-nonsense style and its focus on recognisable subject areas… Each chapter is followed by questions suitable for those wanting to check on their progress and for teachers looking for succinct questions to put to students. This approach works well; as a textbook, City Economics has much to recommend it. Indeed, for many readers the text will be a welcome relief from the esoteric world of Pareto optimality, comparative advantage, externalities, consumer surplus and elasticities, concepts that would normally dominate in this kind of book. Brendan O’Flaherty’s approach is more likely to reveal the importance and relevance of these concepts and tools than the usual methodological exposition… City Economics is challenging and fascinating.—John Whitelegg, The Times Higher Education Supplement

This brilliant book, half textbook, half treatise, provides a magisterial overview of city economics that tempers an optimistic vision of the city’s potential for advancing the human condition with a recognition of the constraints imposed by scarcity. In contrast to other urban economics textbooks, this book eschews unnecessary technique, draws widely from the other social sciences, and devotes considerable attention to urban social problems. And in contrast to other urbanist treatises, it stresses analytical reasoning and confronts squarely the difficult tradeoffs involved in almost all policy choices. Written in a conversational style, City Economics—which might be subtitled the very intelligent layman’s guide to urban economics—demands concentration but the perseverant reader will be richly rewarded.—Richard Arnott, Boston College

City Economics is provocative, thoughtful, engaging, and challenging. O’Flaherty deals with broad and important themes in imaginative and straightforward ways, and this book will instruct and inspire students for a generation.—Kenneth T. Jackson, Columbia University, editor of The Encyclopedia of New York City

City Economics is an engaging book for those who want to know how to make cities better for living, working, and playing. Students, scholars and public officials all can learn from this non-traditional though disciplined-based approach to urban economics.—Susan Wachter, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

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As students around the world deliberate their options for further education, only made more challenging in a pandemic, we’re reminded that getting in is only half the battle. In The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students, Anthony Abraham Jack asks how—and why—do disadvantaged students struggle at elite colleges? What can schools can do differently if these students are to thrive? As back to school season begins, we spoke to two university book clubs that read and discussed The Privileged Poor this summer.