In the News: Summer 2019

Here’s The Best Place To Move If You’re Worried About Climate Change

9/19/19 – Originally published in FiveThirtyEight. Read the full article here.

“Matthew Kahn has dreamed about buying a climate change retreat. If anybody would know where to go, you’d think it would be an environmental economist who literally wrote the book on which cities will adapt to a warming world and how they’ll do it. But rather than investing in land that’s safe from the risks of coastal flooding, midwestern downpours and crippling drought — Kahn was thinking Bozeman, Mont. — he’s instead settling into a new job in Baltimore, a city that’s expected to be flooding daily by the end of the century.” Read the full article here.

Humanity will find ways to adapt to climate change

9/19/19 – Originally published in The Economist. Read the full article here.

As demand rises for ways to ease the pain of climate change, supply will respond. A growing market for goods prompts producers to innovate—and work by Matthew Kahn of Johns Hopkins University and Daxuan Zhao of Renmin University suggests that the same logic applies to adaptation. Firms researching zero-emission energy and carbon sequestration hope to create a market (or are betting that governments will eventually do the job for them by getting serious about emissions). By contrast the market for better means of coping with climate change is already growing daily. Read the full article here.

21st Century Cities Initiative brings Harvard analyst Thomas Abt to Baltimore

9/12/19 – Originally published in the JHU News-Letter. Read the full article here.

Thomas Abt, senior researcher at the Center for International Development, presented the findings of his book Bleeding Out: The Devastating Consequences of Urban Violence — and a Bold New Plan for Peace in the Streets at the Bloomberg School of Public Health on Tuesday. 

Abt addressed topics such as the effects of violence on city residents, where the city violence is concentrated and how it can be diminished. He likened treating urban violence to any other kind of disease, saying that both require assessment, diagnosis and treatment. Read the full article here.

21st Century Cities Initiative hires new director Matthew Kahn

9/5/19 – Originally published in the JHU News-Letter. Read the full article here.

The 21st Century Cities (21CC) Initiative, an on-campus center for students and faculty interested in using data to solve modern urban challenges, hired Matthew Kahn as its new director in June. 

In an interview with The News-Letter, the noted urban and environmental economist reflected on his life, career and goals for 21CC.

Kahn who is also a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of economics and business, discussed the fundamental approach he plans to take in his new leadership role. Read the full article here.


Accurate census count critical for Baltimore kids

9/5/19 – Originally published in the Baltimore Sun. Read the full op-ed here.

With the 2020 census looming, how the city counts Baltimore’s children will be critical to how well we’re able to take care of them.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the 2010 census missed 4.6% of children under age 5, but overcounted people 18 and over by 0.7%. In Maryland, nearly 17,000 children under age 5 were left out of the 2010 census. Census Bureau data suggest that the Maryland undercount was clustered in the counties near Baltimore and DC.

At the Johns Hopkins 21st Century Cities Initiative, we examined what is at stake for the children of Baltimore in the 2020 census. Programs that are vulnerable to child undercount include the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and the school free breakfast and lunch programs. A large child undercount would also mean that Baltimore would not receive its fair share of federal funds for schools, special education and child care.

Read the full op-ed here.


How the economy, energy and tech show up in “Mad Max”

8/26/19 – Originally published by NPR’s Marketplace. Listen to the full interview here. ” It’s summer, and that means blockbusters. And for “Marketplace Tech,” it means an occasional look at sci-fi movies and their visions of the future.

In 1985, “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” hit the big screen. Mel Gibson and Tina Turner battled in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. You might remember the crazy cars, the eponymous Thunderdome — basically Cirque du Soleil with chainsaws. In the film, fossil fuels are gone. The main energy source is methane from … pig feces.

“Marketplace’s” Jed Kim spoke with Matthew Kahn, an economist at Johns Hopkins University, about the energy technology and economics on display in “Mad Max.” He said that for him, the movie shows how free markets falter in a post-apocalyptic world. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.” Listen to the full interview here.


Climate change could cost the US 10.5% of its GDP by 2100, study warns

8/20/19 – Originally published by Fox News. “Plastic pollution found in the world’s oceans and the melting permafrost in the Arctic could have startling economic burdens, perhaps as much as $2.5 trillion and $70 trillion, respectively. And while there may have been some hope that certain countries could escape the brunt of the impact, a new study suggests that “virtually all” nations will be negatively affected by climate change by 2100. The study, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, suggests that countries that are warm, cold, rich or poor will all see a significant loss of income if they do not abide by the 2015 Paris Agreement.” Read the full article here.


Heat and Crime on Vox’s The Weeds

8/13/19 – 21CC Director Matthew Kahn’s new research on the relationship between heat and crime is discussed on Vox’s podcast The Weeds. Listen to the full podcast here with a discussion of Matt’s research at the end of the episode.


Baltimore area needs a regional economic development strategy

7/29/19 – Originally published in the Baltimore Sun. “In the last five to 10 years, it would seem as though Baltimore is finally emerging (at least economically) — from its slow, multi-decade decline. But if you’re a resident of one of the city’s poorer neighborhoods, you might not know it… The good news is that for the first time we’ve actually got a group of players primed to make real changes, be it private foundations like Annie E Casey; academic-led alliances like the Johns Hopkins 21st Century Initiative (21CC); local philanthropic organizations like the Baltimore Community FoundationLiving Classrooms Foundation and the Abell Foundation; or impact investing programs from RBC GAM.” Read the full article here.


Matthew Kahn to Speak at the 63rd Economic Conference of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

7/28/19 – 21CC Director Matthew Kahn will speak at the 63rd Economic Conference of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, A House Divided: Geographic Disparities in Twenty-First Century America on October 4-5, 2019 at the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston. Professor Kahn will speak on a panel titled “Alternative Approaches to Measuring the Quality of Life”. Learn more and register here.


Matthew Kahn to Give Keynote at 6th Urbanization and Poverty Reduction Research Conference

7/28/19 – 21CC Director Matthew Kahn will give a keynote at the 6th Urbanization and Poverty Reduction Research Conference at the World Bank in DC on September 9, 2019. Professor Kahn will discuss “People, Accessibility and Social Outcomes in Cities”. Learn more about the event and register here.


Matthew Kahn Discusses Climate Change and Increasing Crime Rates

7/25/19 – 21CC Director Matthew Kahn discusses the relationship between rising global temperatures and crime rates. Watch the full interview here.


Matthew Kahn Speaks at the 8th Annual Municipal Finance Conference

7/15/19 – 21CC Director Matthew Kahn presented at the 8th annual Municipal Finance Conference at the Brookings Institution on July 15, 2109 about municipal finance and climate change adaptation. Watch the presentation here.


Matthew Kahn’s July 8th 2019 talk at the International Monetary Fund on the microeconomics of climate change adaptation

7/8/19 – 21CC Director Matthew Kahn spoke at the International Monetary Fund on July 8th, 2019 about the critical role of markets in adapting to climate change. See the presentation slides here.


Urban economist Matthew Kahn to lead Johns Hopkins 21st Century Cities Initiative

6/25/19 – Matthew E. Kahn will serve as the new director of 21st Century Cities, the university’s hub for urban research, education, and outreach. “Dr. Kahn’s prolific research on urban and environmental challenges has established him as one of the leading economists in the world,” says Sunil Kumar, JHU provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “I am delighted that he has chosen to bring his expertise of these critical issues to Johns Hopkins and lead 21CC in its innovative work on cities.” Learn more here.


Heat Waves Precipitate More Crime in Poor Areas, Study in L.A. Finds

6/24/19 – Police Departments have long been aware of the correlation between heatwaves and higher crime, but new data measures how poor neighborhoods suffer far more than richer areas. The study by two researchers at the University of Southern California found that on average, overall crime increases by 2.2% and violent crime by 5.7% on days when the maximum temperature is above 85 degrees in Los Angeles. Learn more here.


Higher temperatures can lead to more violent crime, especially in poorer neighborhoods

6/20/19 – A new study by 21CC’s Matthew E. Kahn analyzed data from the Los Angeles Police Department. Learn more here.


The Local Impact of Bank Mergers on Small Business Lending: A Baltimore Example

6/11/19 – The relocation of BB&T’s and SunTrust Bank’s headquarters from Winston-Salem and Atlanta to Charlotte will undoubtedly have an effect on those markets, but how will the other 78 markets where the banks have overlapping branch operations fare? As a follow on to work we have done over the past two years to study trends in small business lending in Baltimore City, we looked specifically at the small business lending performance of these two banks in this single market. Learn more here.

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