Saturday, February 19, 2011

Edward Glaeser

Two quotes from the first chapter of his new book, triumph of the city:

All of the world's older cities have suffered the great scourges of urban life: disease, crime, congestion. And the fight against these ills has never been won by passively accepting things as they are or by mindlessly relying on the free market.


Infrastructure eventually becomes obselete, but education perpetuates itself as one smart generation teaches the next.

so far the book itself is beating my expectations based on his recent articles. Already there is a strong theme of needing to consider group interests relative to individual interests (and the collective action problems that result when you do not properrly regulate a city). We'll see if the rest of the book holds up or not.


  1. Interesting. How could he ever have come to the conclusion that school quality is like restaurant quality. But maybe I was a bit too harsh on him in my post:

    Should be interesting to see how long he's going to continue not disappointing.

  2. @techczech: I have a dark suspicion that he will accurately diagnosis many of the problems but will then go on to suggest overly simplified solutions. Chapter 1 seemed good but I am already worried at the direction on Chapter 2 (as the shift towards the metaphor you gave is already starting).

    But the metaphor that he suggests is absolutely braindead . . .