Gilles Duranton

Gilles Duranton
  • Dean's Chair in Real Estate Professor
  • Chair, Real Estate Department

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    Wharton Real Estate Dept, University of Pennsylvania
    1470 Steinberg-Dietrich Hall; 3620 Locust Walk
    Philadelphia, PA 19104-6302

Research Interests: urban economics and transportation economics

Links: CV, Personal Website, Bio

Overview

Education

PhD, London School of Economics, 1997; BSc, HEC, 1991

Recent Consulting

Urban and regional development, transportation, local public finance

Academic Positions Held

Wharton: 2012-present; named Dean’s Chair in Real Estate Professor July 2013; Chair, Real Estate Department 2013-present; University of Toronto: 2005-2012; London School of Economics: 1996-2005.

Professional Leadership

President, Urban Economics Association; Board Member, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, Co-editor, Journal of Urban Economics; Co-editor, Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics; Editorial board member for several  journals; Research fellow, Centre for Economic Policy Research.

Awards and honors

Fellow of The Regional Science Association (2014); Walter Isard Prize for Scholarly Achievement (Regional Science Association, 2014); Dean’s Excellence Award (University of Toronto) 2012, 2011; President of the North American Regional Science Council, 2011;  Hewings Prize (Regional Science Association), 2007; August Lösch Prize, 2006; Philip Leverhulme Prize, 2003; European Investment Bank, 2001; Aydalot prize, 1996.

 

Continue Reading

Research

  • Gilles Duranton and Prottoy A. Akbar (Draft), Estimating the cost of congestion in a highly congested city: Bogota.

  • Transitioning to driverless cars, Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research 18(3), 193-196, 2016

  • Gilles Duranton and Erick Guerra (Draft), Urban accessibility: Balancing land use and transportation.

  • Gilles Duranton (2016), Agglomeration effects in Colombia, Journal of Regional Science, 56 (2).

    Abstract: I estimate an elasticity of wages with respect to city population of about 5 percent for Colombian cities. This finding is robust to a number of econometric concerns. The second main finding is a negative effect of market access on wages. Third main finding regards stronger agglomeration effects in the informal sector. In turn, this explains a range of other negative findings, including only weak evidence in favor of human capital externalities, no evidence of a complementarity between cities and skills, and an absence of learning effects. I do not find measurable effects of roads or amenities on wages either.

  • Gilles Duranton and Christian Dippel (Work In Progress), The Diamond Hypothesis.

  • Gilles Duranton, Laurent Gobillon, Miren Lafourcade (Work In Progress), The Economic Effects of High Speed Trains.

  • Gilles Duranton, Laurent Gobillon, Pierre Philippe-Combes (Work In Progress), The Production Function For Housing: Evidence from France.

    Abstract: We propose a new non-parametric approach to estimate the production function for housing.  Our estimation treats output as a latent variable and relies on the first-order condition for profit maximization with respect to non-land inputs by competitive house builders.  For parcels of a given size, we compute housing by summing across the marginal products of non-land inputs.  Differences in non-land inputs are caused by differences in land prices that reflect differences in the demand for housing across locations.  We implement our methodology on newly-built single-family houses in France.  We find that the production function for housing is reasonably well, though not perfectly, approximated by a Cobb-Douglas function and close to constant returns.  After correcting for differences in user costs between land and non-land inputs and taking care of some estimation concerns, we estimate an elasticity of housing production with respect to non-land inputs of about 0.80.

  • Gilles Duranton (Work In Progress), Growth In Cities Revisited.

  • Gilles Duranton (2016), Determinants of city crowth in Colombia, Papers in Regional Science, 95 (1), pp. 101-132.

    Abstract: I develop a systematic approach to examine the drivers of population growth in Colombian cities between 1993 and 2010. Fertility plays an important role. Much of the higher growth of some Colombian cities can also be associated with higher wages. In turn, this wage advantage of some cities can be, in part, traced back to city education and industry shocks. I also find that roads and connectivity matter but obtained mixed evidence about the role of urban amenities and no evidence regarding measures of urban costs and other drivers of urban growth that have been commonly conside red by past literature. I also explore some determinants of long-run city growth going back as far as 1843.

  • Gilles Duranton, Ejaz Ghani, Arti Grover Goswani, William Kerr (Work In Progress), Misallocation in India.

Teaching

Current Courses

  • REAL995 - Dissertation

    REAL995001

    REAL995002

    REAL995003

    REAL995007

Past Courses

  • BEPP206 - URB PUB POL & PRIV DEVEL

    This course considers a range of local policies in cities and regions. Examples of policies will include clusters and other local development initiatives, large scale regional policies, employment zones and other targeted policies. More traditional urban policies such as zoning and planning and constraints, transportation pricing, and parking policies among many others will also be considered. Practical examples will be extremely diverse and include the Silicon Valley and attempts to copy it, the Tennessee Valley Authority, housing restrictions in developing countries such as Brazil, congestion pricing in London, etc. Students will be expected to actively participate and make presentations. The course emphasizes the importance of the economic context, the understanding of the underlying rationale for policies, and how the private agents respond to public incentives. The main learning goals are the following: be able to use simple empirical tools of economic evaluations, be able to articulate a critical analysis of competing viewpoints and assessments, and be able to integrate various analytic steps into an overall assessment of economic policies that relies on sound principles and is well argued.

  • BEPP250 - MANAGERIAL ECONOMICS

    This course will introduce you to "managerial economics" which is the application of microeconomic theory to managerial decision-making. Microeconomic theory is a remarkably useful body of ideas for understanding and analyzing the behavior of individuals and firms in a variety of economic settings. The goal of the course is for you to understand this body of theory well enough so that you can effectively analyze managerial (and other) problems in an economic framework. While this is a "tools" course, we will cover many real-world applications, particularly business applications, so that you can witness the usefulness of these tools and acquire the skills to use them yourself. We will depart from the usual microeconomic theory course by giving more emphasis to prescription: What should a manager do in order to achieve some objective? That course deliverable is to compared with description: Why do firms and consumers act the way they do? The latter will still be quite prominent in this course because only by understanding how other firms and customers behave can a manager determin what is best for him or her to do. Strategic interaction is explored both in product markets and auctions. Finally, the challenges created by asymmetric information - both in the market and within the firm - are investigated.

  • BEPP772 - URB PUB POL & PRIV DEVEL

    This course considers a range of local policies in cities and regions. Examples include: clusters and other local development initiatives, large scale regional policies, employment zones and other targeted policies. More traditional urban policies such as zoning and planning and constraints, transportation pricing, and parking policies among many others will also be considered. Practical examples will be extremely diverse and include the Silicon Valley and attempts to copy it, the Tennessee Valley Authority, housing retrictions in developing countries such as Brazil, congestion pricing in London, etc. Students will be expected to actively participate and make presentations. The course emphasizes the importance of the economic context, the understanding of the underlying rationale for policies, and how the private agents respond to public incentives. The main learning goals are the following: be able to use simple empirical tools of economic evaluations, be able to articulate a critical analysis of competing viewpoints and assessments, and be able to integrate various analytic steps into an overal assessment of economic policies that relies on sound principles and is well argued.

  • REAL206 - URB PUB POL & PRIV DEVEL

    This course considers a range of local policies in cities and regions. Examples include: clusters and other local development initiatives, large scale regional policies, employment zones and other targeted policies. More traditional urban policies such as zoning and planning and constraints, transportation pricing, and parking policies among many others will also be considered. Practical examples will be extremely diverse and include the Silicon Valley and attempts to copy it, the Tennessee Valley Authority, housing retrictions in developing countries such as Brazil, congestion pricing in London, etc. Students will be expected to actively participate and make presentations. The course emphasizes the importance of the economic context, the understanding of the underlying rationale for policies, and how the private agents respond to public incentives. The main learning goals are the following: be able to use simple empirical tools of economic evaluations, be able to articulate a critical analysis of competing viewpoints and assessments, and be able to integrate various analytic steps into an overal assessment of economic policies that relies on sound principles and is well argued.

  • REAL772 - URB PUB POL & PRIV DEVEL

    This course considers a range of local policies in cities and regions. Examples include: clusters and other local development initiatives, large scale regional policies, employment zones and other targeted policies. More traditional urban policies such as zoning and planning and constraints, transportation pricing, and parking policies among many others will also be considered. Practical examples will be extremely diverse and include the Silicon Valley and attempts to copy it, the Tennessee Valley Authority, housing retrictions in developing countries such as Brazil, congestion pricing in London, etc. Students will be expected to actively participate and make presentations. The course emphasizes the importance of the economic context, the understanding of the underlying rationale for policies, and how the private agents respond to public incentives. The main learning goals are the following: be able to use simple empirical tools of economic evaluations, be able to articulate a critical analysis of competing viewpoints and assessments, and be able to integrate various analytic steps into an overal assessment of economic policies that relies on sound principles and is well argued.

  • REAL946 - ADV TOPIC IN URBAN ECON

    This course addresses advanced topics in urban and real estate economics. The course will mix theory and empirics and will cover a broad range of topics including the modeling and estimation of agglomeration economies, land use and urban costs, transportation in cities, urban growth, migration between cities etc. The classes will mix formal presentations made by the instructor and student-led discussions of recent academic papers. In addition to presentations, students will be expected to complete a series of assignments including a short original research paper.

  • REAL999 - INDEPENDENT STUDY

In the News

Knowledge @ Wharton

Activity

Latest Research

Gilles Duranton and Prottoy A. Akbar (Draft), Estimating the cost of congestion in a highly congested city: Bogota.
All Research

In the News

Latin America in 2018: Why Commodities Are Still King

Rising commodity prices pegged to Chinese demand will likely push up Latin America's economic growth modestly this year. But potential political setbacks remain a risk, experts say.

Knowledge @ Wharton - 2018/01/12
All News