Matthew Turner

Matthew Turner’s research focuses on the economics of land use and transportation. Current projects investigate the relationship between public transit and the growth of cities, whether `smart growth’ type development actually affects individual driving behaviour, and how a federal government should structure disaster relief programs to encourage cost effective adaptation to climate change in cities. Recent projects examine the relationship between the extent of a city’s highway network and urban growth, total driving in the city, and patterns of trade. Professor Turner holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, a Ph. D. in economics from Brown University. His research appears in the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Review of Economic Studies and Econometrica, and is regularly featured in the popular press.

Content by Matthew Turner
  • Data Item

    Data: Urban Transportation, Land Use, and Growth: Evidence from China 1995-2010

    This paper investigates how the extent and configuration of Chinese road and railroad networks has shaped the spatial transformation and degree of compactness of Chinese urban regions in the last 20 years, a period in which center cities were experiencing strong population inflows but relative losses of industry to the urban periphery. We find strong evidence that the...

    1 Mar 2019

  • Blog post

    Determinants of global air pollution exposure

    The map below is based on 14 years of remotely sensed measurements of airborne particulates. It shows unsurprising patterns in the distribution of air pollution across the globe. There are high levels of pollution in China, India, and sub-Saharan Africa. Agricultural burning in the Amazon is important for central South America. North America and Europe are relatively...

    16 Mar 2018 | Lorenzo Aldeco, Lint Barrage , Matthew Turner

  • Publication - Working Paper

    Subways and urban air pollution

    15 Aug 2017 | Marco Gonzalez-Navarro, Matthew Turner

  • Project

    Transport infrastructure, urban growth, and market access in China

    In 2007, about 20% of World Bank lending was for transport infrastructure investments, more than its lending for social programs. In the same year, China invested about $200 billion in transport infrastructure. Understanding the impact of transportation infrastructure on the growth and spatial organization of cities is crucial if policymakers are to make wise infrastructure...

    19 Aug 2016 | Nathaniel Baum-Snow, Loren Brandt, Vernon Henderson, Matthew Turner, Qinghua Zhang

  • Publication - Working Paper

    Highways, market access, and urban growth in China (Working paper)

    19 Aug 2016 | Nathaniel Baum-Snow, Loren Brandt, Vernon Henderson, Matthew Turner, Qinghua Zhang

  • Blog post

    When models fall short: Evidence from Chinese road infrastructure investments

    Despite limits to data quality and to the possibilities for recovering causal relationships between infrastructure investment, urbanisation and economic growth, quantitative models may prove to be weak substitutes for direct empirical evidence. For evidence based policymaking, research technique matters. Policymakers around the world face important choices about which...

    11 Jul 2016 | Nathaniel Baum-Snow, Vernon Henderson, Matthew Turner, Qinghua Zhang, Loren Brandt

  • Project

    Subways and urban air pollution

    Urbanisation will be an important part of the development process for most low income countries, and demands for urban infrastructure construction will outpace the ability of policy makers to provide it. Given this, it is critical to develop an empirical basis for prioritising construction projects. What should policymakers do first? Build highways, subways, water treatment...

    25 Feb 2016 | Matthew Turner, Marco Gonzalez-Navarro

  • Multimedia Item - Video

    IGC cities research group 2015: Matthew Turner

    12 Jun 2015

  • Publication - Policy Brief

    Urban Transportation, Land Use, and Growth: Evidence from China 1990-2010 (Policy Brief)

    1 Aug 2014 | Nathaniel Baum-Snow, Loren Brandt, Vernon Henderson, Matthew Turner, Qinghua Zhang

  • Publication - Working Paper

    Roads, Railways and Decentralization of Chinese Cities (Working Paper)

    7 Mar 2012 | Vernon Henderson, Nathaniel Baum-Snow, Loren Brandt, Matthew Turner, Qinghua Zhang

  • Project

    Urban transportation, land use, and growth: Evidence from China 1995-2010

    Highway and rail infrastructure investments are the biggest non-defence public sector investment commitments a country makes, involving decisions that will affect the spatial form of cities, the quality of life of residents, and city growth rates, with benefits accruing over many decades. Such choices include whether to invest in rail transit systems in large cities rather...

    1 Dec 2009 | Vernon Henderson, Nathaniel Baum-Snow, Loren Brandt, Matthew Turner, Qinghua Zhang