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Does Urbanisation Affect Rural Poverty? Evidence from Indian Districts

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  • Massimiliano Cali
  • Carlo Menon

Abstract

Although the high rate of urbanization and the high incidence of rural poverty are two distinct features of many developing countries, we still do not know the effects of the former on the latter. We address this issue by exploring the mechanisms through which urbanization may alleviate rural poverty, disentangling "first round" effects, due to migration of rural poor to cities, and "second round" effects, due to positive externalities of city growth on surrounding rural areas. We test our theoretical predictions on a sample of Indian districts in the period 1981-1999, and find that urbanization has a substantial and systematic poverty reducing effect in surrounding rural areas. This effect is largely attributable to positive spillovers from urbanisation rather than to the movement of the rural poor to urban areas per se. Results using IV estimation suggest that this effect is causal in nature (from urbanisation to rural poverty).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE in its series SERC Discussion Papers with number 0014.

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Date of creation: Feb 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cep:sercdp:0014

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Web page: http://www.spatialeconomics.ac.uk/SERC/publications/default.asp

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Keywords: Rural Poverty; Urbanization; Indian districts; India;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Christiaensen, Luc & Todo, Yasuyuki, 2013. "Poverty reduction during the rural-urban transformation : the role of the missing middle," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6445, The World Bank.
  2. Nguyen Viet Cuong, 2014. "Does Urbanization Help Poverty Reduction in Rural Areas? Evidence from a Developing Country," Working Papers 2014-178, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
  3. Ejaz Ghani & Arti Grover Goswami & William R. Kerr, 2012. "Is India’s Manufacturing Sector Moving Away From Cities?," Harvard Business School Working Papers 12-090, Harvard Business School.
  4. Christiaensen, Luc & De Weerdt, Joachim & Todo, Yasuyuki, 2013. "Urbanization and poverty reduction -- the role of rural diversification and secondary towns," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6422, The World Bank.

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