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February 3, 2021

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Two New Books by Economist Kahn Examine Potential of Cities, Responses to Climate Change

Why it matters:

Matthew Kahn, a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at the Carey Business School, examines urgent issues in pair of volumes appearing a month apart.

Article Highlights

  • Kahn heads JHU’s 21st Century Cities Initiative.
  • JHU colleague Mac McComas is co-author of ‘Cities’ book.
  • ‘Climate Change’ book a spring selection of Publishers Weekly.

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Bloomberg Distinguished Professor Matthew Kahn of the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School has authored two new books coming out a month apart in early 2021.

Unlocking the Potential of Post-Industrial Cities examines why some post-industrial U.S. cities such as Baltimore, Detroit, and St. Louis have been locked in socio-economic struggles for the past five decades, while other cities, including New York, Seattle, and San Francisco, have seen significant growth in their economies and populations.

The book aims to guide leaders in both the public and private sectors toward research-based solutions that might help bring greater equality and economic strength to America’s most troubled cities.

The book aims to guide leaders in both the public and private sectors toward research-based solutions that might help bring greater equality and economic strength to America’s most troubled cities.

Kahn routinely explores such issues as the director of the 21st Century Cities Initiative at Johns Hopkins University, a research hub that focuses on promoting the quality of life, including the economic health, of the nation’s urban centers.

Mac McComas, the initiative’s senior program manager, co-authored Unlocking the Potential of Post-Industrial Cities, which is to be published February 23, 2021, by Johns Hopkins University Press.

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He said in an interview: “Solutions and investments need to come from a combination of communities, businesses, and state and local governments. Top-down solutions won’t work, and the federal government will not bail these cities out. The solutions to the problems in each of these cities will be home-grown and unique, although they may share some commonalities. However, the federal government can play a role in coordinating cooperation and resources across state and local governments to ensure that they are not engaging in a zero-sum game.”

The other Kahn book – authored solely by him and scheduled for publication March 30, 2021, by Yale University Press – is Adapting to Climate Change: Markets and the Management of an Uncertain Future. Through the lens of microeconomics, Kahn considers how big data might be used to help the larger economy respond productively to the alarming changes wrought by climate change.

Topic areas discussed in the book include energy and water shortages, agricultural operations, public infrastructure, disaster relief, land use, transportation, and business development.

Adapting to Climate Change has been chosen by Publishers Weekly as one of its Top Ten books in Business and Economics for spring 2021.

Bloomberg Distinguished Professor

Matthew Kahn, PhD

Matthew E. Kahn joined Johns Hopkins University in 2019 as a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Economics and Business and the Director of JHU's 21st Century Cities Initiative. His research focuses on urban and environmental economics. Matt holds a joint appointment with the Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences as well as the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. Please view Matt's

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