The ULI UK Academic prize is awarded in partnership with The Journal of Economic Geography (JOEG) and Oxford University Press.
ULI/Journal of Economic Geography Prize
In an effort to forge collaborative links between the commercial and academic worlds, the Urban Land Institute Prize/Journal of Economic Geography (JOEG) prize will be awarded annually to the author(s) of the best JOEG paper published online in the previous calendar year.
The aims of the Journal are to redefine and reinvigorate the intersection between economics and geography, and to provide a world-class journal in the field. The journal is steered by a distinguished team of Editors and an Editorial Board, drawn equally from the two disciplines. It publishes original academic research and discussion of the highest scholarly standard in the field of ‘economic geography’ broadly defined.
To be eligible for the prize, the paper should be on a topic related to a broadly defined urban agenda including:
- Design and sustainability
- The relationship between cities
- Space and innovation
- Spatial analysis
- Urban economics
- Land or real estate markets
Prize and Jury Details
The prize-winning paper is decided by a committee comprising two members of the JOEG Advisory Board and one member nominated by the ULI. The prize will be awarded to the best JOEG paper published online in the previous year. Submitted papers are refereed, and are evaluated on the basis of their creativity, quality of scholarship, and contribution to advancing understanding of the geographic nature of economic systems and global economic change.
Entrepreneurship, small businesses and economic growth in cities by Yong Suk Lee from the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, USA
Entrepreneurship is widely believed to be a main source of economic growth.
Lee’s paper investigates whether entrepreneurship causes local employment and wage growth, and if so, how large is the impact?
Empirical analysis of this question is difficult because of the joint determination of entrepreneurship and economic growth. Lee’s article uses two different sets of variables—the homestead exemption levels in state bankruptcy laws from 1975 and the share of metropolitan statistical area (MSA) overlaying aquifers—to instrument for entrepreneurship and examine urban employment and wage growth between 1993 and 2002. Despite using different sets of instrumental variables, the ranges of two-stage least squares estimates are surprisingly similar. A 10% increase in the birth of small businesses increases MSA employment by 1.3–2.2%, annual payroll by 2.4–4.0%, and wages by 1.2–2.0% after 10 years. Furthermore, an accounting exercise shows that the employment and payroll growth from entrepreneurship are not confined to the initially created businesses but spill over to the aggregate urban economy.
In conclusion, the paper shows that the creation of small businesses indeed causes substantial employment and payroll growth in cities.
- Ron Martin, Professor of Economic Geography, Research Associate, Centre for Business Research, Judge Business School and Professorial Fellow, St Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge, UK
- Jacques-François Thisse, Chief Research Fellow, Center for Market Studies and Spatial Economics, National Research Higher School of Economics (HSE), Belgium and Chief Research Fellow, HSE Campus in St. Petersburg / Centre for Interdisciplinary Basic Research
- Paul Cheshire CBE, Emeritus Professor of Economic Geography, Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics (LSE), UK
Does weak contract enforcement affect firm size? Evidence from the neighbour’s court by Silvia Giacomelli, and Carlo Menon
The Economic Value of Local Social Networks by Tom Kemeny, Southampton University and Maryann Feldman, Frank Ethridge, and Ted Zoller, University of North Carolina.
The jurors described the paper as “an innovative and very original paper, notable for its theoretical sophistication, its unique data and the scope of its empirical analysis. It promises to set the scene for a long time to come”.
- Edward Glaeser, Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics, Harvard University, USA
- Professor Paul Cheshire CBE, Professor of Economic Geography, London School of Economics, UK
- Anders Malmberg, Deputy Vice-chancellor and Professor, Department of Social and Economic Geography, Uppsala University, Sweden
Cities and Product Variety: Evidence from Restaurants by Professor Nathan Schiff, School of Economics, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.
Professor Schiff’s winning paper was commended by the award committee as remarkable ‘for its theoretical sophistication and scope of empirical analysis, and one that promises to set the scene for a decade to come.’
- Gordon Clark, University of Oxford, UK
- Masahisa Fujita, Kyoto University, Japan
- Neil Wrigley, University of Southampton, UK
- Paul Cheshire, London School of Economics, UK
Is the Sky the Limit? High-rise Buildings and Office Rents by Hans R. A. Koster, Jos van Ommeren and Piet Rietveld
The winning paper explores the rent premium on offices in taller buildings.
The independent jury noted that “the paper contributes new insights into two very important urban phenomena – how agglomeration economies arise and the way in which land markets condition physical patterns of urban development.”