Jan K. Brueckner

Jan Brueckner (left) receiving a plaque from Vernon Henderson

Jan Brueckner (left) receiving a plaque from Vernon Henderson

Jan K Brueckner has a distinguished record of research in urban economics, local public finance, and regional science. Through his own publications, as well as his long service as editor of the Journal of Urban Economics, he has been an intellectual leader in these fields. After receiving his PhD from Stanford, Brueckner taught for almost 30 years at the University of Illinois where he was the IEB Distinguished Professor of Economics. In 2005 he returned “home” and relocated to the University of California, Irvine. His research is distinguished by the breadth of subjects, the key insights, and the excellent mix of theory and empirical work.

Brueckner’s early work focused on the dynamics of urban growth within a city, modeling the determinants of residential succession and the role of vintage and housing age considerations. Over time Jan expanded this line of urban modeling and empirical work to cover topics such as growth controls, spatial mismatch, gentrification, and urban sprawl; and he tackled rarely researched topics such as land market restrictions in developing countries and urban squatter settlements. In addition, Brueckner has an important and insightful set of papers on housing finance which date to the mid-1980’s, a topic of great interest today. His papers are notable for their clear and clever insights, based on isolating and then modeling key aspects of complex phenomenon.

Another major general area of Brueckner’s research through his career has been local public finance, focused on examining the inter-connections between property values, efficiency, property taxation, mobility, and capitalization, in the Tiebout model. In recent years he provided a theoretical motivation for the spatial econometric examination of strategic interactions among local governments, applying the methods to topics such as tax competition and welfare provision. His 2003 article in the International Regional Science Review was one of the first to demonstrate how economic theory can be used to produce spatial econometric model specifications, an important advance for regional science modeling efforts. Brueckner is an intellectual leader in regional science, and a Fellow of the Regional Science Association International. For his distinguished scholarly work and outstanding contributions, the North American Regional Science Council presents Jan Brueckner the Isard Award.

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