Panel: Technology and Cities: Implications for Economic Activity and Quality of Life
(Housing, Community Development, and Urban Policy)

Friday, November 9, 2018: 3:15 PM-4:45 PM
Jefferson - Mezz Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Chairs:  William Larson, Federal Housing Finance Agency
Discussants:  Stephanie Shipp, University of Virginia and Edward Kung, University of California, Los Angeles

Ridesharing and the Use of Public Transportation
Katherine Hoffmann Pham, Panagiotis Ipeirotis and Arun Sundararajan, New York University

The Impact of Craigslist on Rental Housing Dynamics
Nathaniel Decker, University of California, Berkeley

The Digital Sin City: An Empirical Study of Craigslist's Impact on Prostitution Trends
Jason Chan1, Probal Mojumder1 and Anindya Ghose2, (1)University of Minnesota, (2)New York University

Access to Broadband and Its Impact on Brick-and-Mortar Retail Businesses
Rachel Meltzer, The New School and Leah Brooks, George Washington University

Cities are characterized by the physical and material nature of their economic and social activities.  That is, the transactions that take place very much rely on face-to-face interactions between individuals and organizations.  What happens to these activities when technology intervenes and facilitates the virtual and immediate transfer of information?  This panel explores this question for a range of outcomes and in the context of various technology platforms.  Two papers look at how Craigslist, an online portal for advertising goods and services, has impacted the selling and buying of two very different goods: housing and prostitution.  A third paper explores how app-based for-hire vehicles (i.e. Uber) have affected ride-sharing behavior and what that means for other modes of transportation, like taxis and subways, in New York City.  Finally, the fourth paper considers retail activity across the largest U.S. cities and tests if, and how, it has been affected by the (uneven) proliferation of broadband services.  Together, the papers on the panel contribute to an emerging scholarship on how technology-based products can transform economic and social activity in neighborhoods and cities more generally.  This research also raises questions about distributional implications and provides insight on who bears the burden and reaps the benefits of these rapidly advancing technological innovations.  These are critical issues for cities and policymakers to understand as they consider regulations and other interventions to manage the benefits and costs of technology.