Urban Economics Lab

The Urban Economics Lab at MIT focuses on studying economic activity and economic trends in cities. The Lab uses analytical models and big data to understand what makes cities thrive or decline, how housing values are formed and oscillate, and how local politics and social phenomena manifest in the context of increasing global urbanization. 

Latest News

New Working Paper - Big Data and Measurement

Professor Albert Saiz and Arianna Salazar Miranda have published a new article in the MIT CRE working paper series titled "Understanding Urban Economies, Land Use, and Social Dynamics in the City: Big Data and Measurement." The paper presents an overview of big data sources used in urban science and urban economics, with the goal of directing and enriching future research. Read the paper.

Professor Albert Saiz presents at the CRED-MIT Workshop on Real Estate Economics

Professor Albert Saiz was in Bern, Switzerland, at the CRED-MIT Workshop on Real Estate Economics, giving a keynote speech about his recent paper "The Global Housing Affordability Crisis: Policy Options and Strategies." The event took place at the University of Bern, Switzerland, on August 8. Organized by Simon Buechler (MIT), the workshop aimed to stimulate the exchange of ideas among researchers and industry, contributing to understanding the current challenges in the real estate market.

Link to the paper: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4402329

Urban Economics Lab participation in the 2023 AREUEA National

Three members of the Urban Economics Lab participated in the 2023 AREUEA National Conference in Washington DC. Professor Albert Saiz (UEL's PI and Second Vice President of the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association), Vinicios Sant'Anna (Postdoctoral Associate), and Elena Lutz (Research Associate) participated in this amazing conference, which brings together policymakers, academics, and real estate practitioners to present and discuss the latest research in urban economics and real estate. See the Conference agenda (here).

New Working Paper - Housing Affordability Crisis and Policy Options and Strategies

How to address the global housing affordability crisis? Professor Albert Saiz's latest working paper outlines the tradeoffs between different housing policy objectives of the government and the public while discussing their main caveats and advantages. The paper describes thirty different economic strategies underpinning housing policies worldwide and discusses their main advantages and caveats. Read the paper.