Arjun Ramani, Nicholas Bloom, 28 January 2021

The pandemic has pushed against many of the central forces that create economic agglomeration in cities. This column presents evidence on how US real estate markets have responded to the pandemic and the rise of working from home. The authors find that real estate demand reallocates from high-density regions where many people work from home to low-density regions where fewer people work from home within metropolitan areas for both residential and commercial properties, but do not find much evidence of demand reallocating across metropolitan areas. These changes appear to be limited to highly populated ‘superstar’ cities.

James J Feigenbaum, Christopher Muller, Elizabeth Wrigley-Field, 18 February 2019

The mortality rate of non-Hispanic white Americans in midlife has been rising since the beginning of the 21st century, in contrast to the national decline in deaths from infectious disease witnessed during the previous century. This column reviews the fall in infectious mortality in US cities across regions and racial groups. It finds that southern cities had the highest rate of death from infectious disease in every year from 1900 to 1948, primarily because southern cities were populated by greater proportions of black residents, who suffered extreme risks from infectious disease in cities in all regions. 

Allison Shertzer, Randall Walsh, 19 May 2016

US cities became increasingly segregated by race over the 20th century. General consensus holds that most of this segregation was concentrated in the post-war period. This column uses neighbourhood-level data to find that racial segregation in cities began earlier; indeed, much of it had taken place by 1930. The column also examines the residential response of whites to black arrivals, suggesting that this contributed to segregation in addition to discrimination and institutional factors.

CEPR Policy Research