Named in honor of Professor Geoffrey J.D. Hewings who over the years introduced numerous graduate students to Regional Science and mentored them as young scholars. The award recognizes distinguished contributions to Regional Science research by scholars who have recently completed doctoral studies.
Gilles Duranton is Professor of Economics and Noranda Chair in International Trade and Development at the University of Toronto Economics Department. His productive career as a young scholar has produced micro-foundation theory and empirical investigations that have resulted in over 100 working papers and publications that shed light on important regional science issues. Gilles’ 2001 work with Puga that appeared in the American Economic Review provides evidence that diversified cities serve as laboratories for firms in innovative industries. Based on data for French firms they show that as firms matured they changed location from diverse cities where they benefit from urbanization economies to more specialized cities where localization economies predominate.
Gilles work on Zipf’s law merged Romer’s classical endogenous growth model with product proliferation to produce a reduced form Zipf’s law for cities that serves as a foundation for random growth models. His work on spatial clustering and labor pooling and poaching sheds light on the locational importance to firms of access to workers whose knowledge helps reduce costs (labor pooling benefits) and the higher wage bill and lost workers to competing firms (labor poaching costs) using game theory. Gilles work has appeared in the The American Economic Review, Journal of Economic Geography, Urban Studies, Journal of Regional Science, Regional Science and Urban Economics, Journal of Urban Economics, European Economic Review, Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Papers in Regional Science, and a host of other leading scholarly outlets. His widely cited work on nursery cities, the micro-foundations of urban agglomeration economies, and diversity and specialization of cities has already found its way into some of the leading textbooks in urban economics. We all look forward to future work by this young scholar that will shed more light on optics of interest to regional scientists.