Urban form and agglomeration economies – the impact of “edge cities”

Last week, I took a look at the contribution of agglomeration to Auckland’s recent economic growth. Based on observed changes to employment density over the period, plus agglomeration elasticities calculated by David Maré and Daniel Graham, I estimated that 11-12% of Auckland’s recent productivity growth was due to increased urban scale and density.…
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The two-sided density dividend: Agglomeration economies in *consumption*

Why are people – both in NZ and around the world – increasingly choosing to live in cities? The answer usually advanced in response to this question, at least from an economic perspective, is “agglomeration economies”. In this post I want to unpack a few things about agglomeration economies, before discussing why I think our current understanding places too much focus on production as opposed to consumption.…
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Is CRL still value for money?

It’s said you shouldn’t respond to every stupid thing you see on the internet but sometimes it’s too hard to resist and that’s the case with an opinion piece published by Newsroom yesterday about the City Rail Link. The piece was written by University of Auckland economics Professor Tim Hazeldine suggesting we should stop building the CRL.…
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Flashback Saturday: Re-analysing the City Rail Link’s benefits

Every weekend we dig into the archives. This post was first published in November 2011. It has been frustrating to see the assessment of the City Rail Link’s benefits become so politicised over the past few months. You would think that something like undertaking a cost-benefit analysis of a transport project would be a fairly objective task, but as we have learned there are so many assumptions made when assessing transport projects – that the objectivity of the process has really become something of a myth.…
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