Special Issue Preview: Urban Economics

Articles from our current Special Issue, Urban Economics, have been posted! Please see all the links below for an introduction to all of our articles in this issue.


By: Mark Skidmore

This special issue presents a compilation of five articles in urban economics. The articles offer a sampling of urban economic topics, beginning with a methods piece on evaluating spatially targeted development incentives. The Hanson and Rohlin article offers a comprehensive and practical guide to program evaluation methods as applied to spatially targeted urban redevelopment incentives. In keeping with a broader analytical approach, the second paper by Aryal et al. provides an evaluation of differences across urban and rural places in “inventiveness” as measured by patent activity. Their analysis shows factors such as diversity of high-tech industries and cell phone access have relatively higher marginal impacts in metro-adjacent rural areas than urban counties. The article demonstrates how new technologies can have differential effects across urban and rural places. The article by Button examines the effectiveness of tax incentives in the film industry as applied in Louisiana and New Mexico. His work illustrates that while tax incentives can and do play a role, their effects in the context of the film industry are limited. Finally, the last two articles by Hodge and Torrejón et al. apply the analytical tools of urban economics to evaluate the determinants of the enormous challenge of tax delinquency in Detroit, Michigan. Hodge shows how improvements in property value assessment helped to improve tax compliance, whereas Torrejón et al. use spatial econometric tools to show that the elimination of dilapidated housing also helped to improve tax compliance. Taken together, these articles examine important urban issues using the tools of urban/regional economic analysis.

Table of Contents

1. A toolkit for evaluating spatially targeted urban redevelopment incentives: Methods, lessons, and best practices, by Andrew Hanson & Shawn Rohlin

2. Drivers of differences in inventiveness across urban and rural regions, by Giri Raj Aryal, John Mann, Scott Loveridge & Satish Joshi

3. Can tax incentives create a local film industry? Evidence from Louisiana and New Mexico, by Patrick Button

4. Decreasing delinquency through assessment reductions: Evidence from Detroit, by Timothy R. Hodge

5. Housing demolition and property tax delinquency: Evidence from Detroit, by Camila Alvayay Torrejón, Dusan Paredes & Mark Skidmore

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