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Urbanization and the Geography of Development

ACCESS TO CAPITAL ACCOUNTING AGGLOMERATION BENEFITS AGGLOMERATION ECONOMIES AIRCRAFT AUTOMOBILE AUTOMOBILE PRODUCTION AUTOMOBILES BANK PRIVATIZATION BARRIOS BIG CITIES BUSINESS SERVICES CAPITAL CITIES CAPITAL MARKETS CAPITALS CARS CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT CITIES CITY DEVELOPMENT CITY DISTRICTS CITY INDUSTRIES CITY LEADERS CITY PLANNING CITY PRODUCTIVITY CITY SIZE COMMERCIAL BANKS COMPANY TOWNS COST OF TRANSPORT DECENTRALIZATION DIESEL DIESEL FUEL ELASTICITY ELASTICITY OF VEHICLE TRAVEL EXTERNALITIES FACTORING FINANCIAL SERVICES FISCAL AUTONOMY FUEL FUEL PRICES HIGH TRANSPORT HIGHWAY HIGHWAYS HOUSING IMPACT OF TRANSPORT INDUSTRIAL ENTERPRISES INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT INDUSTRIAL STRUCTURE INDUSTRIALIZATION INDUSTRIALIZATION PROCESS INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT INSPECTION INSURANCE INTERGOVERNMENTAL TRANSFERS LABOR COSTS LABOR MARKETS LAND DEVELOPMENT LAND MARKETS LAND TITLING LARGE CITIES LAWS LEVEL PLAYING FIELD LOCAL GOVERNMENT LOCAL GOVERNMENTS LOCAL PUBLIC SECTOR MARKET DISCIPLINE MEGACITIES METROPOLITAN AREAS MOBILITY MONIES NATIONAL HIGHWAY SYSTEM NATURAL RESOURCES NEIGHBORHOODS NET LOSSES POPULATION GROWTH PRICE CHANGE PRIVATE BANKS PRIVATE VENDORS PROPERTY RIGHTS PUBLIC DEBT PUBLIC INVESTMENT PUBLIC SERVICE PROVISION PUBLIC SERVICES PUBLIC UTILITIES QUALITY OF LIFE RAIL RAIL NODES RAIL TRANSPORT RAILWAY RAILWAYS REAL ESTATE MARKETS REGIONAL BANKS REGULATORY SYSTEMS REORGANIZATION RING ROADS RISK MANAGEMENT ROAD ROAD NETWORK SERVICE CENTERS SERVICE PROVISION SOCIAL TENSION SPRAWL SUBURBAN AREAS SUBURBAN RAIL SUBURBS TAX TENURE SECURITY TOWN GOVERNMENTS TOWNS TRADE FLOWS TRANSPARENCY TRANSPORT TRANSPORT ACCESS TRANSPORT COSTS TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE TRANSPORT INVESTMENT TRANSPORT INVESTMENTS TRANSPORT SERVICES TRANSPORTATION TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE TRAVEL COSTS UNEMPLOYMENT URBAN URBAN AREAS URBAN BIAS URBAN CENTERS URBAN CONCENTRATION URBAN CONGESTION URBAN DEVELOPMENT URBAN ECONOMICS URBAN ENVIRONMENTS URBAN FRINGE URBAN GROWTH URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE URBAN LAND URBAN MIGRATION URBAN POPULATION URBAN POPULATION GROWTH URBAN RESEARCH URBAN SECTOR URBAN SPRAWL URBAN STRUCTURE URBAN TRANSFORMATION URBANIZATION URBANIZATION PROCESS VEHICLE VEHICLE TRAVEL COSTS
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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | Sub-Saharan Africa
2014-06-25T19:53:49Z | 2014-06-25T19:53:49Z | 2014-05

This paper focuses on three interrelated questions on urbanization and the geography of development. First, although we herald cities with their industrial bases as "engines of growth," does industrialization in fact drive urbanization? While such relationships appear in the data, the process is not straightforward. Among developing countries, changes in income or industrialization correlate only weakly with changes in urbanization. This suggests that policy and institutional factors may also influence the urbanization process. In fact, the relationship between industrialization and urbanization is absent in Sub-Saharan Africa. Second, do development policies have a big-city bias and, if so, what does this imply for growth and inequality? Intelligent public infrastructure investment inevitably involves picking winners. One hopes that such choices are based on market indicators, such as where industry is starting to agglomerate and where there are clear needs. Yet governments seem to favor the biggest cities which in turn draw firms and migrants to these cities. To try to avoid excessive in-migration and oversized, congested cities, favored cities might adopt policies that make living conditions for migrants more unpleasant. This can result in increased inequality and social tension. Finally, the paper examines city sizes and city-size distributions. Factors determining both aspects are complex and poorly understood. It is hard to be proscriptive about either individual city sizes or overall city-size distributions. The best policies strengthen institutions in the relevant markets so that market forces can move the economy toward better outcomes.

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