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Will we ever see the light of day? - Measuring economic outcomes from very high resolution imagery

18th Apr 2017

Author: Tanner Regan

The world is routinely photographed from space on a vast scale. This abundant source of information can help answer economic questions that have been, until now, hindered by a lack of suitable data. How can economists put highly detailed daytime photographs to use? This question is only now beginning to be answered leaving tremendous potential for the future.

The importance of property rights for successful urbanisation in developing countries

20th Feb 2017

Authors: Patricia Jones, Astrid Haas

Africa’s urbanisation differs from historical patterns because it is occurring without a simultaneous development of land property rights. This blog examines the role of property rights in creating well-functioning cities and concludes that weak property rights in African cities are likely to be linked to reduced investment, inefficient labour allocation, and lower tax revenues.

On the Spatial Distribution of Development. The Roles of Nature and History.

31st Jan 2017

Authors: Vernon Henderson, Adam Storeygard, Tim Squires, David Weil

What determines where people live? Why are some places so densely populated and some so empty?  In daily life, we take this variation in density as a matter of course, but in many ways it can be quite puzzling.