Fleshing out the papers

This is a strange time in one’s academic career I suppose. With the PhD just handed in, pending final approval by my university’s committee, I am beginning to think seriously about where and what to publish. Below some initial thoughts that will hopefully guide me in my next steps. Continue reading

Hiatus

Fatherhood and the final stretches of my PhD have taken a toll on my posting performance here. Hard to believe it’s been more than half a year since the last blog post. Long gone seem the days when my aim was to have two entries up each week. I do intend to continue writing here, especially to get some structure into my post-PhD thinking as well as reflect on my teaching. A few updates and ideas after the jump.

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City size and inequality

Comparisons across cities are notoriously hard. For one, data availability is a huge problem given our methodological bias on the nation state. But there is also the problem on how we delineate municipalities. Nonetheless, I found this graph on city size and inequality very interesting.

Click here for original

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Tokyo as a slum, continued

A few weeks ago I discussed the concept of “Tokyo as a slum”¬†and how apt it is to describe living conditions in the postwar period. This is important if we are to glean how useful Tokyo’s experience is to today’s emerging megacities. A more fitting description, I found, may be that of “shared space poverty”. I took a good look at the 1963 Housing Survey for data to support that line of thinking.

1963 construction on the Metropolitan Expressway (photo source)

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Tokyo public finance

I have been wading through historical budget data for the 23 wards here in Tokyo. To many, nothing could be more dry. However, I think that understanding public finance in the first megacity holds an important key in explaining the city’s success.

Tokyo as seen from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

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