Thursday, December 21, 2006

Charlie Leven and Charlie Tiebout - the birth of a model

Charlie Leven was a guest in my urban economics class last week.

He lectured about some aspects of the Tiebout "voting with feet" model. He then proceeded to tell the class under what cinrcumstances the model was born. It turns out that a at a lunch at Northwestern University during the early 60s, the two Charlies and another person whose name Leven did not recall discussed the high property rates in Evanston. The third person at lunch, who was unmarried and had no kids, announced that he is moving a few miles away from campus into Chicago - where tax rates are lower.

In reaction, Charlie Tiebout proceeded to describe his model. At the end of the lunch he announced that he is going to write it up and publish it.

If I am not mistaken this was his only contribution to urban economics.

1 comment:

C. Briem said...

Wouldn't that conversation have to have been in the early 50's? Levin has written that the other lunch partner was Meyer Burstein.