City Economics by Brendan O’Flaherty

“City Economics” by Brendan O’Flaherty is an insightful exploration into the economic complexities and intricacies of urban environments. O’Flaherty delves deep into the various facets of city life and economy, ranging from housing and public transport to crime and segregation.

The book presents economic theories in the context of urban settings, explaining how cities function, grow, and evolve. O’Flaherty makes use of real-world examples to elucidate abstract economic concepts, giving readers a concrete understanding of the principles at play.


  1. Applicability of Theory to Real Life: One of the standout features of “City Economics” is the manner in which O’Flaherty applies economic theory to real urban scenarios. This bridges the gap between abstract economic concepts and tangible city life, making the content relatable and understandable.
  2. Comprehensive Scope: O’Flaherty does not limit himself to any one facet of city life. By covering a myriad of topics like public transport, housing, crime, and more, he paints a holistic picture of the urban economic landscape.
  3. In-depth Analysis: The book doesn’t just skim over topics; it delves deep, ensuring readers have a thorough understanding of each subject.
  4. Use of Examples: Real-world examples from various cities bolster the text’s arguments, providing readers with practical illustrations of theoretical concepts.


  1. Technical Content: While O’Flaherty strives for accessibility, certain portions of the book do feature graphs and technical terms. These sections may pose challenges for readers without a background in economics.
  2. Density: The comprehensive nature of the book can also be its drawback. The sheer depth and breadth of information might be overwhelming for some readers.
  3. Focus on U.S. Cities: While the book does incorporate examples from around the world, there is a noticeable emphasis on U.S. cities. This might limit the book’s applicability to a global audience.
  4. Pacing and Structure: Some readers might find the book’s pacing inconsistent, with certain sections being more engaging than others. The structure, while comprehensive, can occasionally feel disjointed.


“City Economics” by Brendan O’Flaherty is a commendable effort to present the intricacies of urban economics in an accessible yet comprehensive manner. While the book’s technical sections might pose challenges for some, its real-world examples and in-depth analyses make it a valuable resource for anyone interested in understanding the economic dynamics of cities. Readers, especially those with a vested interest in urban studies or economics, would benefit from O’Flaherty’s insights, but they should be prepared for a detailed and dense exploration.