These models are usually based on the ideas of English economist Alfred Marshall (1842-1924) on the economics of localized industry, the work of Jane Jacobs (1916–2006) on urbanization economies, and on the theory of monopolistic competition and product diversity developed by Avinash Dixit (born 1944) and Joseph Stiglitz (born 1943). Urban economics has also benefited from the work of Wassily Leontief (1905–1999). The Russian-American economist has been famous for his research on how changes in one economic sector may have consequences for other sectors. His input-output model, which focused on trends in trade flow, won him a Nobel Prize in 1973.
Cities are a unique concentration of human opportunities and challenges. Understanding these opportunities and challenges requires the understanding of cities, and of processes unfolding in cities. The Centre’s research agenda is focused on global challenges of urban sustainable development including questions of economic prosperity and equity, social inclusion and citizenship, environmental sustainability and urban metabolism, housing, transportation, planning and governance. The Centre is naturally embedded in the Amsterdam urban region but its research programs reach across the world, particularly in North America, the Caribbean, Asia, and Europe.