9 sessions


Nguyễn Lưu Bảo Đoan
Ph.D University of Maryland, United States


1A Hoang Dieu, Ward 10, Phu Nhuan, HCMC   View map


CREDIT , Economics , MAE

Urban economics is a branch of economics which stemmed from microeconomics in the 1940s and combined knowledge in this field and geography. This branch of economics addresses the issue of urbanization and formation of cities based on the theory of agglomeration and individual’s housing location decision. By understanding that underlying mechanism, one can explore other prominent issues often tied to urban development such as transportation, housing, and employment. There might exist a misunderstanding of the notion of urban economics, a number of people likened it to economic activities in an urban context. This misunderstanding or interpretation of urban economics has been somewhat common in Vietnam as the Vietnamese language does not distinguish economics from economy.


Urban economics has had different theoretical and applied development stages and centers, and was developed mainly in North America and Europe. In recent years, issues of interest to scholars in the field include agglomeration/clustering and economic efficiency due to the clustering of economic activity, and knowledge spillover, urbanization, and the distribution of labor and employment. Scholars from East Asia and Southeast Asia such as Thailand and Vietnam have also been interested in this field since the 2000s.

1. Introductory session on Urban Economics

  • The evolution of the urban economic thinking
  • Main topics of urban economics

2. Creation of the city

  • Determinants of city formation

3. Creation of the city

  • Agglomeration economies: technological and pecuniary
  • Location of firms

4. The monocentric city

  • The monocentric city with assumptions
  • Relaxing the basic mode

5. Extension of the monocentric city

  • Relaxing the basic model
  • Polycentric city model
  • Proposed theory by Hoang & Wakely (2000)

6. Land use and urban planning

  • Economics of Planning
  • Land use externalities
  • Land use & urban planning

7. Transportation

  • Externalities of private transport
  • Public transit
  • Interaction of land use and transportation

8. Distribution of labor and Employment in urban labor intensive industries, labor mobility, labor distribution, employment center, commuters, mixed use, job – housing balance

9. Housing policies

  • Housing subsidies
  • Housing bubbles


  • Assignment: 30%
  • Team work/Discussion: 10 %
  • Mid-term exam:20 %
  • Final exam: 40 %

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