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Edward Glaeser
Born May 1, 1967 (1967-05-01) (age 42)
Manhattan, New York
Residence United States U.S.
Nationality United States American
Fields Economics
Institutions Harvard University
Alma mater Princeton University University of Chicago

Edward Ludwig "Ed" Glaeser (born May 1, 1967) is an economist at Harvard University. He was educated at The Collegiate School in New York City before obtaining his B.A. in economics from Princeton University and his PhD in economics from the University of Chicago. Glaeser joined the faculty of Harvard in 1992, where he is currently Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor at the Department of Economics and Director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government, and the Director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston (both at the Kennedy School of Government), in addition to being an editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics. Glaeser's connections with both Chicago and Harvard makes him a linkage between the Chicago School and the Cambridge School of Economics. Glaeser and John A. List were prominent names mentioned as reasons why the AEA committee began to award the Clark Medal annually in 2009.


"A jack of all trades"

Glaeser has made substantial contributions to the empirical study of urban economics. In particular, his work examining the historical evolution of economic hubs like Boston and New York City has had major influence on both economics and urban geography. Glaeser also has written widely on a variety of other topics, ranging from social economics to the economics of religion, from both contemporary and historical perspectives.

His work has earned the admiration of a number of prominent economists. George Akerlof (2001 Economics Nobel Prize) praised Glaeser as a "genius," and Gary Becker (1992 Economics Nobel Prize) commented that before Glaeser "urban economics was dried up. No one had come up with some new ways to look at cities."[1]

Despite the seeming disparateness of the topics he has examined, most of Glaeser's work can be said to apply economic theory (and especially price theory and game theory) to explain human economic and social behavior. Glaeser develops models using these tools and then evaluates them with real world data, so as to verify their applicability. A number of his most influential papers in applied economics are co-written with his Harvard colleague, Andrei Shleifer.

Contribution to urban economics

Glaeser's empirical research has offered a distinctive explanation for the increase in housing prices in many parts of the United States over the past several decades. A number of pundits and commentators attribute skyrocketing housing prices to a housing bubble created by the monetary policies of Alan Greenspan. Glaeser points out that the increase in housing prices has not been uniform throughout the country. In fact, the most dramatic increases have occurred in places like Boston, Massachusetts and San Francisco, California, where permits for new buildings have been difficult to obtain since the 1970s. This, compounded with strict zoning laws, seriously disrupted the supply of new housing in these cities. Real estate markets were thus unable to accommodate increases in demand, and housing prices skyrocketed. Glaeser also points to the experience of states such as Arizona and Texas, which experienced tremendous growth in demand for real estate during the same period but, thanks to looser regulations and the comparative ease of obtaining new building permits, did not witness abnormal increases in housing prices.

Contribution to health economics

In 2003 Glaeser collaborated with David Cutler and Jesse Shapiro on a research paper that attempted to explain why Americans had become more obese. According to the abstract of their paper,[2] Americans have become more obese over the past 25 years because they "have been consuming more calories. The increase in food consumption is itself the result of technological innovations which made it possible for food to be mass prepared far from the point of consumption, and consumed with lower time costs of preparation and cleaning. Price changes are normally beneficial, but may not be if people have self-control problems."

Undergraduate teaching

At Harvard, Glaeser regularly teaches an undergraduate course on intermediate microeconomic theory.[3]

Popular writings

In 2006 Glaeser began writing a regular column for the New York Sun. He writes a monthly column for the Boston Globe.


External links



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