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URBAN

ECONOMICS
ECON 155
FALL 2016; MoWeFr 3:00-4:59
Instructor: Joseph W.H. Lough

CNN: 14273
Units/Credits: 3
Course Location: LECONTE 4
email: joseph.lough@gmail.com
Office phone: 510-219-6569
Office Hours: MW 10-12 EVANS 673

Course Description
Urban economics invites students to critically evaluate the changing shape of the urban landscape using
the tools of economics. Students will explore the formation and expanding role cities have come to play
in trade, finance, and manufacturing; how land-use and zoning in cities have changed over time;
potential conflicts between public and private uses of the cityscape; and some of the challenges facing
citizens and policy makers as they seek to navigate this increasingly volatile landscape.

Learning Goals
As part of Berkeley's Undergraduate Student Learning Initiative (USLI), the Economics Department has
developed learning goals for the Economics major. (See
http://econ.berkeley.edu/undergrad/home/learning-goals.) The specific learning goals that this course
aims to achieve are:

1. To facilitate critical thinking by showing students how to understand urban economics; use
economic theory and modeling to understand and evaluate the decisions, institutions, and
processes shaping that changing urban landscape.
2. To cultivate problem-solving skills to recognize institutional, historical, and social forces that
help account for the peculiar social, economic, political and institutional conditions that prevail
in the city.
3. To cultivate communication skills by helping students communicate clearly and effectively about
urban economics.
4. To help students develop lifelong learning skills working with primary data and narrative sources
to read intelligently, reflect intelligibly, write about urban economics.

This Syllabus
While students may rely upon this syllabus for all readings and assignments, they should also be aware
that unforeseen contingencies may require that we alter the syllabus from time to time. Students are
therefore encouraged to log onto and consult the syllabus on bCourses at regular intervals (at least
three times weekly).

Course Materials
The following books are available for purchase at the usual outlets. Outside of these required texts, this
is a paperless course.

Required Texts

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Brueckner, Jan K. Lectures on Urban Economics. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press

Course Requirements
Under the conviction that scholarship is a collective venture (even when we think we are conducting it
alone), students will be expected to actively participate in discussions and presentations (whether or not
they are the presenters). For our purposes, emailing, on-line chatting, and texting do not constitute
active participation. Students not accustomed to speaking publicly are strongly encouraged to develop
and write down questions on a slip of paper while reading the assigned text. You can read your
question in class for credit.

There are 39 lectures during the Fall semester. Attendance counts for 20 % of students overall grade.
Each lecture therefore counts for .256 of a students attendance. Let us say that a student misses five
lectures during a semester, for whatever reason. (No excused absences.) The student will then receive
87.17 for attendance, which amounts to 17.43 towards their final grade out of a possible 20 points. You
can do the math. So the answer is, No. Attendance is not optional. You are responsible for making it to
class.

Students are expected to have read the assigned readings and to be ready to share questions,
interpretations, challenges, alternatives, etc. to the positions presented by the authors.

Electronic Media: Students who are found to be using their electronic devices for anything other than
taking notes will be counted as absent. I strongly recommend that students turn off their Bluetooth and
WiFi connections during lecture. It is a distraction to others and is rude to those participating in the
class.

Written assignments (i.e., presentation summary and final paper) must be type-written, appropriately
formatted, with the course name, student name, date, and assignment clearly visible.

Presentation: By August 29, students will select their presentations on bCourses. Presentation teams
must meet with me (TOGETHER) during my office hours prior to their presentations. All members must
be present. They will be responsible for collaborating together on a presentation, not to exceed fifteen
minutes, during which they will (1) identify the problem the author(s) is (are) addressing; (2) the position
against which the author(s) is/are arguing; (3) the author(s) solution to the problem. PRESENTERS MUST
NOT SUMMARIZE THE AUTHOR(S) POSITION. PRESENTERS MUST PRESENT THEIR AUTHOR(S)
SOCRATICALLY, I.E., BY IDENTIFYING THE QUESTION THE AUTHOR(S) ARE RAISING AND ENGAGING
THEIR CLASSMATES OVER THIS PROBLEM. Each student must then submit his/her own 3-5 page paper:
(1) identify the problem the author(s) are addressing; (2) the position against which the author(s) is/are
arguing; (3) the author(s) solution to the problem. The paper must not summarize.

Final: Students must visit me during office hours prior to Thanksgiving to discuss the problem they
propose to solve in their final paper. Students will present to their assigned Reader a bibliography of
works they intend to use writing their final paper no later than end of week 12. In their final paper: (1)
students will identify the problem they are solving; (2) identify how this problem arose in response to
social, political, regulatory, institutional, and historical changes; (3) critically reflect on how well (or
poorly) their sources address this problem; (4) identify how they would approach the problem; and (5)
state why their solution is more adequate.

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Plagiarism
The University of California, Berkeley, its faculty and its students pride themselves on the standards of
excellence we have set for ourselves and attempt daily to match up to. Among these standards of
excellence are originality of scholarship and academic integrity. To help maintain these standards the
students, administration, and faculty have established and continue to enforce severe penalties for
students and faculty who represent someone elses statements, research, or ideas as their own. If you
are discovered to have plagiarized, you will receive a summary F for the assignment and will be
referred for further investigation to Student Judicial Affairs. If you are unsure what constitutes
plagiarism, please consult document Tips for Avoiding Plagiarism posted on the following address:
http://students.berkeley.edu/files/osl/Student_Judicial_Affairs/TipsForAvoidingPlagiarism.pdf. The
University of California, Berkeley, students, faculty, and administration also prohibit cheating, conveying
false information, fabricating or altering information, alteration of University documents, and rude
conduct toward other students, faculty, or administrators.

Evaluation Criteria
Attendance





20%
Participation




10%
Presentation




10%
Presentation Paper




10%
Bibliography




10%
Midterm





20%
Final Paper





20%

Course Calendar
PART ONE: THINKING ABOUT CITIES
WEEK ONE: THE PROBLEM WITH CITIES
Date
Title
Assignment (completed by date)
August 24
Introductions
Required Reading: M Davis, Dead Cities: A Natural History
(bCourses)
August 26
Our Neolithic
Required Reading: Aristotle, Politics (bCourses); N BirdPrejudice
David, Beyond The Original Affluent Society (bCourses)


STUDENTS MUST SIGN UP FOR PRESENTATIONS ON
bCOURSES NO LATER THAN AUGUST 29

WEEK TWO: A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
Date
Title
Assignment (completed by date)
August 29
Gymnasium on a
Required Reading: Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
Stick
(bCourses); Aristotle, Politics (bCourses); Plato, Gorgias
(bCourses); Plato, Republic (bCourses); I Kant, Prolegomena
(bCourses); GWF Hegel, Civil Society (bCourses); K Marx,
Capital (bCourses)
August 31
Why Cities Exist
J Brueckner Lectures, Preface and Chapter 1;

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PRESENTATION 1
September 2
Scale Economies,
Required Reading: J Brueckner, Lectures, Chapter 1.2-4;
Agglomeration
PRESENTATION 2
Economies, and
Transportation Costs
and Firm Location

PART II: TOPICS IN URBAN ECONOMICS
WEEK THREE: WHY CITIES EXIST
Date
Title
September 5

September 7
Interaction of Scale
and Transportation
Costs; Retail
Agglomeration
September 9
Commuting,
Consuming, and
Housing

Assignment (completed by date)


ACADEMIC AND ADMINISTRATIVE HOLIDAY
Required Reading, J Brueckner, Lectures, Chapter 1.5-7;
PRESENTATION 3

Required Reading: J Brueckner, Lectures, Chapter 2.1-5


PRESENTATION 4

WEEK THREE: ANALYZING URBAN SPATIAL STRUCTURE/MODIFICATIONS OF THE URBAN MODEL


Date
Title
Assignment (completed by date)
September 12 Population Density
Required Reading: J Brueckner, Lectures, Chapter 2.6-8;
and Intercity
PRESENTATION 5
Predictions
September 14 Modifications of the
Required Reading: J Brueckner, Lectures, Chapter 3 (ALL);
Urban Model
PRESENTATION 6
September 16 Size, Market Failures, Required Reading: J Brueckner, Lectures, Chapter 4.1-4
and Behavior
PRESENTATION 7

WEEK FOUR: LAND-USE AND MOBILITY
Date
Title
Assignment (completed by date)
September 19 Land-Use Controls
Required Reading: J Brueckner, Lectures, 4.5-7;
PRESENTATION 8
September 21 Congestion
Required Reading: J Brueckner, Lectures, 5 (ALL);
PRESENTATION 9
September 23 Consumer Demand
Required Reading: J Brueckner, Lectures, 6.1-3;
and User Costs
PRESENTATION 10

WEEK FOUR: HOUSING
September 26 Tenure, Mortgages,
and Property Abuse

Required Reading: J Brueckner, Lectures, 6.4-7;


PRESENTATION 11

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September 28 Housing Policies
Required Reading: J Brueckner, Lectures, 7 (ALL);
PRESENTATION 12
September 30 Public Goods and the Required Reading: J Brueckner, Lectures, Chapter 8.1-3;
Political
PRESENTATION 13

WEEK FIVE: PUBLIC GOODS, SERVICES, AND EXTERNALITIES
Date
Title
Assignment (completed by date)
October 3
Public Goods and
Required Reading: J Brueckner, Lectures, Chapter 8.4-7;
Private Power
PRESENTATION 14
October 5
Pollution
Required Reading: J Brueckner, Lectures, Chapter 9 (ALL);
PRESENTATION 15
October 7
The Economics of
Required Reading: J Brueckner, Lectures, Chapter 10.1-2;
Crime
PRESENTATION 16

WEEK SIX: CRIME AND THE GOOD LIFE
Date
Title
October 10
The Economics of the
Police State
October 12
The Good Life
October 14

MIDTERM

Assignment (completed by date)


Required Reading: J Brueckner, Lectures, Chapter 10.3-5;
PRESENTATION 17
Required Reading: J Brueckner, Lectures, Chapter 11 (ALL);
PRESENTATION 18
MIDTERM: STUDENTS SHOULD BRING A BLUEBOOK TO
LECTURE


PART IV: REGULATING THE CITY
WEEK SEVEN: CRIMINALIZING THE CITY
Date
Title
October 17
The Classical
Approach
October 19
The Neoclassical
Approach
October 21
Mass Incarceration

Assignment (completed by date)


Required Reading: A Smith, Of the Wages of Labor,
Wealth of Nations (bCourses); PRESENTATION 19
Required Reading: G Becker, Crime and Punishment: An
Economic Approach (bCourses); PRESENTATION 20
Required Reading: J Simon, Consuming Obsessions:
Housing, Homicide and Mass Incarceration since 1950
(bCourses); PRESENTATION 21


WEEK NINE: THE DE/RE-REGULATED CITY
Date
Title
Assignment (completed by date)
October 24
Terror Cities
Required Reading: M Coleman Geopolitics of Engagement:
Neoliberalism and the War on Terror (bCourses);
PRESENTATION 22
October 26
Working Cities
Required Reading: J Macleavy, Workfare-Warfare
(bCourses); PRESENTATION 23

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October 28
Resisting Cities
Required Reading: L Gilbert Resistance in the Neoliberal
City (bCourses); PRESENTATION 24


POST MID-TERM GRADES ON BCOURSES; OCTOBER 30 IS
FIRST DAY STUDENTS CAN DISCUSS THEIR FINAL PAPERS
WITH ME DURING OFFICE HOURS

WEEK TEN: ALIEN CITIES
Date
Title
October 31
Illegal Immigrants

November 2
November 4

Violence and
Immigration
Race and Migration

Assignment (completed by date)


Required Reading: S Smith-Nonini, The Illegal and the
Dead: Are Mexicans Renewable Energy (bCourses);
PRESENTATION 25
Required Reading: L Green, The Nobodies: Neoliberalism,
Violence, and Migration (bCourses); PRESENTATION 26
Required Reading: S Davison, Race, migration, and
neoliberalism (bCourses); PRESENTATION 27


WEEK ELEVEN: (UN)SUSTAINABLE CITIES
Date
Title
Assignment (completed by date)
November 7
Green Transition
Required Reading: C Topi, The Economics of Green
Transition Strategies for Cities (bCourses); PRESENTATION
28
November 9
How to Value Health
Required Reading: K Wolf, Metro, Nature, Environmental
Health and Economic Value (bCourses) PRESENTATION 29
November 11
ACADEMIC AND ADMINISTRATIVE HOLIDAY


LAST DAY STUDENTS CAN PRESENT THEIR PAPER TOPICS TO
ME DURING OFFICE HOURS NOVEMBER 15

WEEK TWELVE: (UN)SUSTAINABLE CITIES
Date
Title
Assignment (completed by date)
November 14 Urban Blight
Required Reading: R Weaver, Reframing the urban blight
problem with transdisciplinary insights (bCourses);
PRESENTATION 30
November 16 Green Governance
Required Reading: J Puppim de Oliveira, Green economy
and governance in Cities (bCourses); PRESENTATION 31
November 18 Community
Required Reading: D Okubo, Local Governments and the
Sustainability
Economics of Community Sustainability, PRESENTATION
32


STUDENT FINAL PAPER BIBLIOGRAPHIES DUE (AT LEAST
FIVE SOURCES)

WEEK THIRTEEN: (UN)SUSTAINABLE CITIES
Date
Title

Assignment (completed by date)

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November 21 Energy
Required Reading: A Dagoumas, Modeling socio-economic
and energy aspects of urban systems (bCourses);
PRESENTATION 33
November 23
Academic and Administrative Holiday
November 25
Academic and Administrative Holiday

WEEK FOURTEEN: READING WEEK
December 5-9

I WILL HOLD OFFICE HOURS THIS WEEK

WEEK FIFTEEN: EXAMINATION WEEK


December 12-
16

FINAL PAPERS MUST BE SENT TO THE HEAD READER NO


LATER THAN 9:59 PM, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13