Sex and the City Economy

“Where there’s a will there’s a way.” she text me. But even when it comes to sex, as an urban economist I don’t respond well to binary options. “The longer the way, the lesser the will” I replied. Yes, I am that kind of geek.

I would like to talk about some market behaviors in the city that we usually disregard – sex and love. On these “markets” we are simultaneously both the service providers and the customers, no money is involved (yes… by all means, feel free to make your jokes here) and yet Supply and Demand of those are playing a role in the way our cities function.

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Suppression Zone and Hassle-distance, Superman and pizzerias

What determines a city’s size and the area of ​​its economic impact? What is the connection between ‘Hassle-distance’ and the theoretical gravity model I’ve demonstrated earlier? I want to elaborate more on the Suppression Zone of the city and I’ll tie it all together here.

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Uber Game Economics 101

Have you ever thought about the game plan of the big transportation companies conquering the world? Ride hailing companies like Uber or Lyft, bike and e-scooter sharing companies like Bird or Lime and more. All these have a unique Game Economics that determine their strategy. So let’s understand some of the rules that govern these companies. As usual, this is a very technical post, written for those that really need to understand the game.

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The city as a glorious market failure

“The city is an economic engine”. This built-in assumption is now rooted in so many studies that it had become taken for granted. To the point where no one pauses to ask whether or not it’s true anymore. If you are as fascinated with cities as I am, it is clear to you that this claim is pivotal, so why are its supporting arguments so vague and easy to refute?

Quite a few studies demonstrate that large cities are associated with high levels of productivity. This statistical correlation is the basis for the assumption that the city is an economic engine. This is the claim that I intend to dismantle. I am not arguing with the facts, only with the conclusions made by the various researchers.

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Gravity Core, Suppression Zone and Leapfrogging… the basics of spatial economics

Let’s continue with urban mathematics shall we? If you are fascinated with cities as I am it’s a path worth taking. This is the ‘WHY’. The deeper understanding of why the city behaves the way it does.

Let’s see what the model I have developed is actually teaching us. As a reminder, the model progresses up to “Nash equilibrium” for one product, with equal distribution of suppliers and customers. The model illustrates how a market failure was created, similarly to the model of the ice-cream vendors. In this article, I would like to show examples of the phenomena that the model produces.

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