Edward Ludwig "Ed" Glaeser (born May 1, 1967) is an economist at Harvard University. He was educated at The Collegiate Schoolin New York City before obtaining his B.A. in economics from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago. Glaeser joined the faculty of Harvard in 1992, where he is currently the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor at the Department of Economics, the Director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government, and the Director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston (both at the Kennedy School of Government). He is also an editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics. Glaeser's connections with both Chicago and Harvard make him a linkage between the Chicago School and the Cambridge School of Economics. Glaeser and John A. List were prominent names mentioned as reasons why the AEA committee began to award the Clark Medal annually in 2009.
He is the author of the book Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier, published by Penguin Press in 2011. According to a review in the New York Times, the book summarizes Glaeser's years of research into the role that cities play in fostering human achievement and "is at once polymathic and vibrant."
Glaeser has published at a rate of almost five articles per year since 1992 in leading peer-reviewed academic economics journals, in addition to many books, other articles, blogs, and op-eds. Glaeser has made substantial contributions to the empirical study of urban economics. In particular, his work examining the historical evolution of economic hubs like Boston and New York City has had major influence on both economics and urban geography. Glaeser also has written widely on a variety of other topics, ranging from social economics to the economics of religion, from both contemporary and historical perspectives.
His work has earned the admiration of a number of prominent economists. George Akerlof (2001 Economics Nobel Prize) praised Glaeser as a "genius," and Gary Becker (1992 Economics Nobel Prize) commented that before Glaeser "urban economics was dried up. No one had come up with some new ways to look at cities."
Despite the seeming disparateness of the topics he has examined, most of Glaeser's work can be said to apply economic theory (and especially price theory and game theory) to explain human economic and social behavior. Glaeser develops models using these tools and then evaluates them with real world data, so as to verify their applicability.