Final Paper Assignment

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Urbanization is the flip side of migration. Workers in urban areas are uniformly more productive than those in dispersed settings, albeit cities vary widely in their industry mix and wage levels. Agriculture is a dying industry, in terms of employment and the share of the economy. Agglomeration economies are central to China’s future.

Pick one aspect of this process. These are keyed to topics in Ghost Cities though you will likely want to glance through additional materials from EconPapers and similar sources, including those we will read the next two weeks. Here are several central issues:

  • Urban structure: how should cities be designed? Among other tradeoffs, should they be made with wide streets or narrow? What are the implications of different layouts?
  • Urban amenities: what services should cities provide their citizens? That is, what is best delivered and managed close to the consumer, rather than controlled through provincial or national guidelines?
  • Hukou reform: what policy measures are necessary to enable hukou reform?
  • Housing: what (if any) policy changes are desirable, and why?
  • Public finance: creating an effective system of local government
  • Local Government Financial Vehicles: strengths and weaknesses
  • Healthcare: urban issues
  • Environment: urban issues

As with previous papers, this should be succinct in structure and prose, clear in theme with a conclusion that is not a summary, and have a final bibliography (using inline citations in the text of the paper).

I will not give extensions on the basis of the Williams Communication Center being fully booked. Schedule your appointment NOW!

Length: as long as your topic demands, with my expectation that most papers will be 5-8 pages.

Econ 274   Winter 2017
Final Paper: Urbanization
Due Saturday 8 April at 2 pm