Skip to main content

MILLS, EDWIN

MILLS, EDWIN 1928-

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Edwin Smith Mills is an emeritus professor of real estate and finance at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He was born on June 25, 1928, in Collingswood, New Jersey. After graduating from Collingswood High School in 1946, he served two years in the U.S. Army and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. After obtaining his undergraduate degree from Brown University in 1951 and his PhD in 1956 from the University of Birmingham in England, he held faculty positions at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University, Princeton University, and Northwestern University. Over almost five decades of teaching and research focused on real estate and urban economic development, Mills authored fifteen books and more than one hundred papers, served as an adviser to numerous domestic and foreign governments, and was a member of many national committees seeking solutions to urban and environmental problems.

Mills is best known for his undergraduate textbook Urban Economics, first published in 1972, as well as for founding and editing the premier academic journal in urban economics (Journal of Urban Economics ) and for his research treatise on urban spatial structure (Studies in the Structure of the Urban Economy ). The latter book, which was published in 1972, is considered to be one of three classics (the other two are William Alonsos Location and Land Use [1964] and Richard Muths Cities and Housing [1969]) that established the core of what today is identified as the field of urban economics. This core consists of a model, commonly referred to as the standard urban land-use model, that explains urban spatial structure and how this structure has changed over time. Urban spatial structure refers to the location of alternative land uses (such as apartments, houses, offices, and manufacturing plants) within cities, as well as to the locations of alternative income groups. The usefulness of the model is multifold, providing answers to such questions as why offices are concentrated within the center of metropolitan areas, why high-income households tend to live farther from the center than low-income households, and why many households and firms have moved from the central city to the suburbs.

Besides his contributions to the theoretical development of the standard urban model, Mills has provided many of the most important empirical tests of the model. Within Studies in the Structure of the Urban Economy, he developed methods for estimating population density gradients, which show how population per square mile changes as distance increases from the center of the metropolitan area. These techniques were used by Mills in a series of papers and by other urban economists to study population suburbanization, which continues to be a major focus of urban scholars in light of recent concerns related to urban sprawl. Millss research has shown that suburbanization is the result of both a natural evolutionary process resulting from higher real incomes and urban population growth and a flight from blight, as households and firms move from the central city to the suburbs to escape social and fiscal problems that are more severe within central cities.

While Mills is best known for his development and testing of the standard urban model, his writings have also expanded understanding of numerous urban problems (such as air and water pollution, housing segregation, and urban decay) and what might be done to solve them. His policy prescriptions have stressed the importance of allowing markets to work more efficiently without excessive government intervention.

SEE ALSO Economics, Urban; Pollution; Pollution, Air; Pollution, Water; Segregation, Residential; Spatial Theory

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Alonso, William. 1964. Location and Land Use: Toward a General Theory of Land Rent. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Mills, Edwin S. 1972. Studies in the Structure of the Urban Economy. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Mills, Edwin S., and Bruce W. Hamilton. 1994. Urban Economics. 5th ed. New York: Harper Collins.

Muth, Richard F. 1969. Cities and Housing: The Spatial Pattern of Urban Residential Land Use. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Keith R. Ihlanfeldt

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"MILLS, EDWIN." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Oct. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"MILLS, EDWIN." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 17, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/applied-and-social-sciences-magazines/mills-edwin

"MILLS, EDWIN." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. . Retrieved October 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/applied-and-social-sciences-magazines/mills-edwin

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.