Esteban Rossi-Hansberg is a creative theorist who has given us new perspectives on the spatial organization of economic activity within and across countries. As the scope of his work has grown during the past decade, his research program has expanded into empirical analyses and calibration — so as to test and fit his conceptual models to data. His urban and regional analyses include studies of the internal structure of cities, of the effects of technological development upon the distribution of economic activity in space, of economic growth and the size distribution of cities in the urban hierarchy, and of the spatial extent of externalities in housing markets.
Rossi-Hansberg is Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University; he is also Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and at the Center for Economic Policy Research. He completed his undergraduate and masters work at ITAM, and he was awarded the PhD by the University of Chicago in 2002. His regional science work has been published widely in major journals such as Econometrica, The American Economic Review, The Journal of Political Economy, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, as well as The Journal of Regional Science and The International Economic Review.
Rossi-Hansberg is Associate Editor of several well-regarded journals, including the Journal of Urban Economics. For the past decade, he has been very active in NARSC; he currently serves on the Urban Economics Association Council and the program sub-committee. He is the recipient of the August Lösch Prize in Regional Science for 2010.
A sample of Rossi-Hansberg’s research reveals the depth and diversity of his scientific achievements. In one paper, Rossi-Hansberg and coauthor Mark Wright develop a model that incorporates an urban hierarchy with different types of cities into an endogenous growth framework, yielding a size distribution of cities that is consistent with Zipf’s Law. In an early paper, he studied the optimal distribution of business and residential land in a city in the presence of spatial externalities, examining the role of land taxes and zoning in improving the resource allocation of land. In a related recent empirical contribution, Rossi-Hansberg and co-authors have measured the extent and rapid spatial decline of residential externalities. Another recent paper coauthored with Klaus Desmet examines the spatial evolution of the US economy in terms of the degree of concentration of economic activity. This work analyzed productivity growth in manufacturing versus services as well as changes in the spatial concentration and mixing of these two sectors over time.
The North American Regional Science Council is pleased to confer the Geoffrey J. D. Hewings Award for 2010 upon Esteban Rossi-Hansberg. We anticipate the future contributions of this outstanding young scholar as he continues to bring fresh perspectives to key issues in the spatial organization of activity.