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Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of CivilizationThe Evolution of an Urban Landscape$
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Guillermo Algaze

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226013770

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226013787.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Modeling the Dynamics of Urban Growth

Modeling the Dynamics of Urban Growth

(p.28) CHAPTER THREE Modeling the Dynamics of Urban Growth
Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization
University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines models of modern urban growth. It looks back at the ideas proposed by economist David Ricardo almost two centuries ago about the importance of trade for economic development and the role of comparative advantage between regions as a spur to trade. It also considers the ideas of Jane Jacobs on how trade spurs and sustains settlement growth; the work of Paul Krugman and other adherents of the self-styled “new economic geography” explaining how unequal gains from trade structure differentially complex urban systems; and the work of Gunnar Myrdal explaining the mechanisms that allow systems of cities to expand, once created, and thus become the primary motor of development in the regions they occupy. Their views, when combined, provide an explicitly evolutionary perspective on the origins and development of cities that adds much to the analytical schema that have characterized the study of early Near Eastern urban origins thus far, which, as noted in Chapter 2, are largely descriptive in nature and devoid of a historical dimension.

Keywords:   urban development, David Ricardo, Jane Jacobs, trade, settlement growth, Paul Krugman, economic geography, Gunnar Myrdal

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