Is there a metropolitan bias? The inverse relationship between poverty and city size in selected developing countries
AbstractThis paper provides evidence from eight developing countries of an inverse relationship between poverty and city size. Poverty is both more widespread and deeper in very small and small towns than in large or very large cities. This basic pattern is generally robust to choice of poverty line. The paper shows, further, that for all eight countries, a majority of the urban poor live in medium, small, or very small towns. Moreover, it is shown that the greater incidence and severity of consumption poverty in smaller towns is generally compounded by similarly greater deprivation in terms of access to basic infrastructure services, such as electricity, heating gas, sewerage, and solid waste disposal. The authors illustrate for one country—Morocco—that inequality within large cities is not driven by a severe dichotomy between slum dwellers and others. The notion of a single cleavage between slum residents and well-to-do burghers as the driver of urban inequality in the developing world thus appears to be unsubstantiated—at least in this case. Robustness checks are performed to assess whether the findings in the paper are driven by price variation across city-size categories, by the reliance on an income-based concept of well-being, and by the application of small area estimation techniques for estimating poverty rates at the town and city level.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality in its series Working Papers with number 192.
Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
poverty and city size; urban poverty; slums.;
Other versions of this item:
- Ferre, Celine & Ferreira, Francisco H.G. & Lanjouw, Peter, 2010. "Is there a metropolitan bias ? the inverse relationship between poverty and city size in selected developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5508, The World Bank.
- I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
- O18 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
- R20 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-01-23 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2011-01-23 (Development)
- NEP-GEO-2011-01-23 (Economic Geography)
- NEP-LTV-2011-01-23 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
- NEP-PBE-2011-01-23 (Public Economics)
- NEP-URE-2011-01-23 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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