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Farther on Down the Road : Transport Costs, Trade and Urban Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa

ACCESS ROADS AGGLOMERATION ECONOMIES AGGREGATES AGRICULTURAL TRANSPORT AIR BUDGET CONSTRAINT CAPITALS CAR CITIES CITY SIZE CITY TRANSPORT COEFFICIENTS COMMODITIES COMMODITY CONFIDENTIALITY CONGESTION CUSTOMS DECENTRALIZATION DEMAND FOR TRANSPORT DEMAND FOR TRANSPORT SERVICES DIESEL DIGITAL ARCHIVE DISTRICT DISTRICTS DRIVERS DRIVING ECONOMIC ACTIVITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ELASTICITY ELECTRICITY ENTERPRISE SURVEYS EQUATIONS FIXED COSTS FOSSIL FUELS FRAMEWORK FREIGHT FREIGHT TRAFFIC FUEL FUEL CONSUMPTION FUEL EFFICIENCY FUEL PRICES GASOLINE GASOLINE PRICE GASOLINE PRICES GENERATORS GLOBAL MARKETS GROWTH PATH HIGH SPEEDS HIGH TRANSPORT HIGHWAY HIGHWAYS HOUSEHOLD SURVEYS INCOME INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS INTERCITY TRANSPORT INTERNATIONAL TRADE INTERSTATE HIGHWAY INTERSTATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM JOURNEYS LIMITED ACCESS LIMITED ACCESS ROADS MAINTENANCE COSTS MANUFACTURING MARKETING MATERIAL METADATA MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY MOBILITY MOTORISTS NATIONAL ROADS NATIONAL TRANSPORT NATURAL RESOURCE NETWORK DATA NOISE OPEN ACCESS PASSENGER PATH PAVED ROADS PAVEMENT PAVING PC PETROLEUM PRODUCTS PIXEL PIXELS POLITICAL CAPITAL POPULATION DENSITY POPULATION GROWTH PORTS PRICE CHANGES PRICE OF DIESEL PROVINCE PROVINCE-LEVEL PROVINCES PURCHASING POWER RAIL RAILROADS RECONSTRUCTION REGIONAL ROADS REMOTE SENSING RESULT RESULTS ROAD ROAD CONNECTIONS ROAD CONSTRUCTION ROAD DENSITY ROAD IMPROVEMENTS ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE ROAD NETWORK ROAD NETWORKS ROAD SURFACE ROAD SURFACES ROAD SYSTEMS ROAD TRANSPORT ROADS ROADWAYS ROUTE ROUTES RURAL AREAS SATELLITE SATELLITES SECONDARY TOWNS SITES SMALLER TOWNS SNOW SPEED STRUCTURES SUBNATIONAL SUBNATIONAL REGIONS SUBNATIONAL UNITS TAX THERMAL POWER PLANTS TIME PERIOD TIRES TRAFFIC TRANSMISSION TRANSPORT COST TRANSPORT COSTS TRANSPORT GEOGRAPHY TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE TRANSPORT NETWORKS TRANSPORT SECTOR TRANSPORTATION TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE TRIPS TRUCKING TRUCKS UNPAVED ROAD UNPAVED ROADS USES VEHICLES WEB
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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | Sub-Saharan Africa
2013-09-04T17:55:34Z | 2013-09-04T17:55:34Z | 2013-05

Transport costs are widely considered an important barrier to local economic activity but their impact in developing countries is not well-studied. This paper investigates the role of inter-city transport costs in determining the income of Sub-Saharan African cities, using two new data sources. Specifically, it asks how important access to a large port city is for the income of hinterland cities in 15 countries. Satellite data on lights at night proxy for city economic activity, and shortest routes between cities are calculated using new road network data. Cost per unit of distance is identified by world oil prices. The results show that an oil price increase of the magnitude experienced between 2002 and 2008 induces the income of cities near a major port to increase by 6 percent relative to otherwise identical cities 500 kilometers farther away. Cities connected to the port by paved roads are chiefly affected by transport costs to the port, while cities connected to the port by unpaved roads are more affected by connections to secondary centers. These are important findings for economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa since the majority of its population growth over the next few decades is expected to be in urban areas.

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