Matthew E. Kahn 
USC Economics Webpage

Do you select the age 50, 45 or 22 vintage?   




Matthew E. Kahn is a Professor and the Chairman of  the Economics Department  at USC.     He is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a research fellow at IZA.  He also serves as a Non-Resident Scholar at the NYU Stern School of Business at the Urbanization Project and as a Non-Resident Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Institute for Urban Research.  He has taught at Columbia, the Fletcher School at Tufts University and UCLA.  He has served as a Visiting Professor at Harvard and Stanford and as the Low Tuck Kwong Distinguished Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore.  He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago.   He is the author of  Green Cities: Urban Growth and the Environment (Brookings Institution Press 2006) and the co-author (joint with Dora L. Costa) of Heroes and Cowards: The Social Face of War (Princeton University Press 2009). In September 2010, Basic Books published his book titled Climatopolis .  In January 2016, he published an updated e-book titled: Fundamentals of Environmental and Urban Economics.   In May 2016, Princeton University Press published his book Blue Skies over Beijing: Economic Growth and the Environment in China (joint with Siqi Zheng). His research focuses on environmental and urban economics.   He is married to Dora L. Costa.

Phone:  213-740-6997
Mailing Address

Department of Economics
Los Angeles, CA 90089


My current 
Vita   with web links to almost all of my publications.  


Media Coverage

A profile in courage? 

On October 24th 2012, I started my own "environmental and urban economics university" called "Kahn University" on YouTube.  These short videos are posted here.

Popular Media Coverage   (out of date)



 graduate reading list on the economics of climate change adaptation.

At USC, I teach Principles of Micro and Environmental Economics and sometimes Urban Economics.

I blog at   My blog's entries focus on environmental and urban topics.   Follow me on Twitter


My Six Books and my Amazon Author Page

1.  Purchase my 2006 Brookings Institution Press book "Green Cities: Urban Growth and the Environment"

Read Chapter One






2.  Purchase my 2009 Princeton University Press Book "Heroes and Cowards: The Social Face of War" (joint with Dora L. Costa)

Read Chapter One






3.  Climatopolis published in September 2010 by Basic Books.   Here is the Book's overview.  

 Watch my UCSB Climatopolis Talk that 98,000 people have viewed here.

Talk #1:  Talk at USC in February 2010    

Radio Show #1: NPR in Seattle go to September 1st 2010.
Radio Show #2: KPCC Interview with Patt Morrison on September 10th 2010.

 Climatopolis Book Reviews
The Economist Magazine reviewed this book in its September 3rd 2010 issue .
The Financial Times reviewed this book on October 1st 2010 read it .

4. Here is my January 2016 Book titled Fundamentals of Environmental and Urban Economics.  This book is priced at $1 per copy. When I teach undergraduate environmental economics, I use this as my textbook.  For those who do not own a Kindle Reader, you can use this free app to read the book on your PC.

5.   Blue Skies over Beijing:  Economic Growth and the Environment in China (joint with Siqi Zheng) , Princeton University Press May 2016.  You can read chapter one of this book if you click on the Princeton Press webpage.


6.   From December 2016,   An Introduction to Empirical Microeconomics

An Introduction to Empirical Microeconomics by [Kahn, Matthew E.]

This book is meant for 18 year olds who know algebra but have never taken a course in economics.  This is my experiment focused on revealed preference.  After teaching Econ 101 at USC in fall 2016, I decided that young people need a new type of textbook.  Unlike standard econ books, I state a set of facts such as a consumer's choice and then ask what you have learned about the consumer's preferences.   Here is a simple example;

Applied economists are "detectives". We know that we do not know your preferences. Economists look for clues and design experiments to learn about people. For example, if a person buys a $5 Starbucks drink then we immediately learn that a lower bound on how much she is willing to pay for such a drink is $5. If a week later, when the price is now $7 if she no longer buys it then, we now have learned that we can bound her willingness to pay for this product between $5 and $7 dollars. This book applies this revealed preference logic to dozens of problems to teach you how economists learn about people by watching what they choose under different circumstances. 


Before  --- A Young Man in Fall 1988 (1st day of graduate school)


After ---  A Middle Aged Man