Ed Glaeser was one of my professors in my first year of grad school. Some fun facts about him that have nothing to do with economics whatsoever:
- The suits that he would wear to class were definitely trending in the direction of “pimp”…and I mean this literally, not as a synonym for “awesome.” (though I will acknowledge that these concepts aren’t mutually exclusive) My personal favorite was a double-breasted number with a heavy pinstripe that he would wear with a bright blue shirt, pink tie and gold cufflinks. I half expected him to pull out a fedora with a feather in it, but, sadly, it never happened. (And yes, I probably remember more about the suits than I do about graduate microeconomics.)
- He got married during fall semester and didn’t feel the need to mention it to any of us. This did not go over well with some of the people who found out via the wedding announcement in the NYT Sunday Styles section, so there may have been a doctored version of said announcement going around for a while.
- He joked a lot about having a cigar and a diet Mountain Dew for breakfast every morning…or at least I assumed he was joking, but after seeing him walk through Harvard Yard in his trenchcoat holding said beverage and smoking a cigar, I am not so sure.
Apparently he also does economics-y things, mostly having to do with urban economics:
His book sounds pretty interesting, and you can find it here if you are so inclined. I think the part of this piece that sticks with me most is the following quote:
“I really hoped we could move beyond thinking that the only American dream is a white picket fence in the suburbs.”
Thank you, Professor Glaeser, for addressing one of my main pet peeves. As such, I apologize for the following anecdote:
A number of years ago, Ed Glaeser and John Campbell put together a recruiting video directed at prospective economics Ph.D. students. However, rather than having the desired effect, it came off poorly (i.e. “we’re special because we’re at Hahhhhhhvahd”) and mainly got mocked by other economics departments. Therefore, it follows logically that a classmate of mine would use the video to spread a slightly different message:
I hope I’ve now given you the appropriate image to keep in mind while reading the book. 🙂