Urban economics is a branch of economics which focuses on the urban areas. The discipline utilizes different economics tools to analyse issues which concern urban areas, including crime, public transit, education, housing, and local government finance. Urban economics is also that part of microeconomics which studies the urban spatial structure and the position of households and firms.
Urban economics has its origin in the theories of von Thunen, Alonso and Christaller which started the process of spatial economic analysis.
Urban economics is different from the other branches of economics as it considers the spacial aspects which influence people’s decisions. These special aspects include the place where the firm is established, as well as the whole city which represents the centre of the economic activity.
As well as this, the discipline considers the market forces which differ from location to location. Indeed, a company established in an isolated area has a different market performance compared to a business located in a central region.
Therefore, the urban economist is able to explain the reason why a city is more developed than another, or why it has been established in a specific position. As well as this, he/she can outlines which are the causes if the economic growth and decline, and how the local governments can affect the urban growth.
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