Grad Students

Christopher Esposito



Contact Information

Email    cresposito - a t - ucla - d o t - e.d.u
Office  Not Available
Phone  

I research cities and their economies from both applied and theoretical standpoints. On the applied end, I am studying Los Angeles' minimum wage increase (which is rising to $15/hr by July 2020) to learn if minimum wage laws are helpful in combating income inequality. On the theoretical front, I am interested in the geography of knowledge production. In this research, I analyze U.S. patent data to study how spatial proximity and separation between inventors shapes the direction of technological change.

Fields of Study

  • Economic Geography
  • Evolutionary Economics
  • Innovation

Advisors

Ph.D. Committee

David L. Rigby, Professor of Geography and Stastics (Committee Chair)

Michael Storper, Professor of Urban Planning

Jacob Foster, Assistant Professor of Sociology

Allen J. Scott, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Geography

MA Committee

David L. Rigby, Professor of Geography and Stastics (Committee Chair)

Michael Storper, Professor of Urban Planning

Lynne Zucker, Professor of Sociology

Awards

International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) Summer Fellowship

Funded by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences

June 2018 - September 2018

 

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow

May 2015 - 2020

UCLA Graduate Research Fellow

June 2015 - June 2016

Shannon McCune Award for Excellence in Geography

Colgate University, 2014

High Honors Economics, High Honors Geography

Colgate University, 2014

Research

I research cities and their economies from both applied and theoretical standpoints. On the applied end, I am studying Los Angeles' minimum wage increase (which is rising to $15/hr by July 2020) to learn if minimum wage laws are helpful in combating income inequality. On the theoretical front, I am interested in the geography of knowledge production. In this research, I analyze U.S. patent data to study how spatial proximity and separation between inventors shapes the direction of technological change.

Degrees

Master of Arts, Geography

UCLA, 2016

Thesis: An Evolutionary Theory of Regional Economic Growth and Change

Bachelor of Arts, Economics and Geography

Colgate University, 2014

magna cum laude

Thesis: The Role of Natural Amenities in Gentrification

Publications

Peer-reviewed publications

  • Esposito, C., Rigby, D. 2019. Buzz and Pipelines: The Costs and Benefits of Local and Non-Local Interaction. Journal of Economic Geography 19 (3). 753-773. [PDF]   [Abstract]

Awarded the 2019 UCLA Geography Graduate Student Publication Award.

Working Papers

  • Esposito, C., Worker Takes All: Los Angeles' Minimum Wage Increase, its Benefactors, and its Beneficiaries. In Preparation. With Edward Leamer (UCLA Anderson) and Jerry Nickelsburg (UCLA Anderson).

Presentations

Project: Studying Minimum Wage Increases in Los Angeles County

  • "Designing an Effective Minimum Wage: Geographical Insights from Los Angeles County". Annual Meeting of the Assoication of American Geographers (AAG). Washington, DC. April 3, 2019

Project: Problems in Innovation and its Urbanization

  • "Creativity Constrained? The Diminishing Returns in Recombinationatory Invention".  Global Conference in Economic Geography. Cologne, Germany. July 25, 2018.

Project: Premature Deagglomeration

Project: When Buzz and Pipelines Fail

  • "When Buzz and Pipelines Fail". Invited Speaker, Utrecht University Economic Geography Seminar (EconGeo). Utrecht, Netherlands. September 10, 2016.
  • "The Geographic Foundations of Innovation". Young Economic Geographers Network Workshop (YEGN). Bern, Switzerland. August 18, 2016.
  • "An Evolutionary Model of Regional Economic Growth and Change". First Annual Workshop in Regional Economic Development and Innovation (REDI). UCLA. May 26, 2016.
  • "Simulating the Creative Destruction of Regional Economies". Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG). San Francisco. April 24th, 2016.
  • "The Profitability of Technologies: How Regions Respond to Scarce and Valuable Knowledge". 3rd Geography of Innovation Conference. Toulouse, France. January 29th, 2016.