Book Colloquium

Spring 2023

Each semester the Center for Public Choice and Market Process (CPM) sponsors the Economics Book Colloquium, in which students and faculty meet to discuss interesting contemporary writing in economics. In Spring 2023, the EBC will be reading "Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier" by Edward Glaeser. Registration is required.


America is an urban nation, yet cities get a bad rap: they're dirty, poor, unhealthy, environmentally unfriendly . . . or are they? In this revelatory book, Edward Glaeser, a leading urban economist, declares that cities are actually the healthiest, greenest, and richest (in both cultural and economic terms) places to live. He travels through history and around the globe to reveal the hidden workings of cities and how they bring out the best in humankind. Using intrepid reportage, keen analysis, and cogent argument, Glaeser makes an urgent, eloquent case for the city's importance and splendor, offering inspiring proof that the city is humanity's greatest creation and our best hope for the future.

About the Author:

Edward Glaeser is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics and the Chairman of the Department of Economics at Harvard University, where he has taught microeconomic theory, and occasionally urban and public economics, since 1992. He has served as Director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government, and Director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston. He has published dozens of papers on cities economic growth, law, and economics. In particular, his work has focused on the determinants of city growth and the role of cities as centers of idea transmission. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1992. His books include Cities, Agglomeration, and Spatial Equilibrium (Oxford University Press, 2008), Rethinking Federal Housing Policy (American Enterprise Institute Press, 2008), Triumph of the City (Penguin Press, 2011), and Survival of the City: Mass Flourishing in an Age of Social Isolation (Penguin Press, 2021). 



Discussion Leeder:

The Discussion Leader will be Dr. Chris Mothorpe, Chair and Associate Professor of Economics here at the College of Charleston. 


Colloquium information: 

  • The EBC is open to any interested College of Charleston students; it is not limited to economics majors.
  • The EBC meets approximately every two weeks, for 1 hour and 15 minutes, on Wednesday from 3:30-4:45 in Beatty 301. See schedule for exact meeting dates.
  • Participation in the colloquium is voluntary, and no course credit is given for participation. We request that you only sign up to participate if you expect to be able to attend all of the sessions in the schedule below.
  • All students should be prepared to discuss all of the scheduled chapters for each meeting. The format will be an open discussion but focused on the topics raised in the assigned readings. Importantly, this colloquium is not intended to be a lecture. Ideally, the professors will do little talking.
  • Participants receive their copy of the book free from the CPM.
  • This semester the Colloquium will be limited to 15 student participants. 


All meetings are Wednesdays from 3:30-4:45 in Beatty 301. See exact dates below.


Assigned pages of the book should be read prior to each meeting.

January 25

  • Introduction: Our Urban Species
  • Chapter 1: What Do They Make in Bangalore?

February 8

  • Chapter 2: Why Do Cities Decline?
  • Chapter 3: What's Good About Slums?

February 22

  • Chapter 4: How Were the Tenements Tamed?
  • Chapter 5: Is London a Luxury Resort?

March 15

  • Chapter 6: What's So Great About Skyscrapers?
  • Chapter 7: Why Has Sprawl Spread?

April 5

  • Chapter 8:  Is There Anything Greener Than Blacktop?
  • Chapter 9: How Do Cities Succeed?
  • Virtual Meeting with the Author

April 12

  • Conclusion: Flat World, Tall City
 Triumph of the City by Edward Glaeser


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