Farther on down the road : transport costs, trade and urban growth in Sub-Saharan Africa
AbstractTransport 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.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6444.
Date of creation: 01 May 2013
Date of revision:
Transport Economics Policy&Planning; Rural Roads&Transport; Subnational Economic Development; E-Business; Roads&Highways;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2013-05-22 (Africa)
- NEP-ALL-2013-05-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2013-05-22 (Development)
- NEP-INT-2013-05-22 (International Trade)
- NEP-TRE-2013-05-22 (Transport Economics)
- NEP-URE-2013-05-22 (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.:
- Krugman, Paul, 1991.
"Increasing Returns and Economic Geography,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
- Barrios, Salvador & Bertinelli, Luisito & Strobl, Eric, 2006.
"Climatic change and rural-urban migration: The case of sub-Saharan Africa,"
Journal of Urban Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 357-371, November.
- Eric Strobl & Luisito Bertinelli & Salvador Barrios, . "Climatic Change and Rural-Urban Migration: The Case of Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers on International Economics and Finance 06-01, FEDEA.
- Salvador Barrios & Luisito Bertinelli & Eric Strobl, 2006. "Climatic Change and Rural-Urban Migration: The Case of Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 06-01, Asociación Española de Economía y Finanzas Internacionales.
- BARRIOS, Salvador & BERTINELLI, Luisito & STROBL, Eric, 2006. "Climatic change and rural-urban migration: the case of sub-Saharan Africa," CORE Discussion Papers 2006046, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- Dave Donaldson, 2010. "Railroads of the Raj: Estimating the Impact of Transportation Infrastructure," NBER Working Papers 16487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kristian Behrens & Carl Gaigné & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Jacques-François Thisse, 2006.
"Is remoteness a locational disadvantage?,"
Journal of Economic Geography,
Oxford University Press, vol. 6(3), pages 347-368, June.
- Supee Teravaninthorn & Gaël Raballand, 2009. "Transport Prices and Costs in Africa : A Review of the International Corridors," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6610.
- Gallup, J.L. & Sachs, J.D. & Mullinger, A., 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," Papers 1, Chicago - Graduate School of Business.
- Vivien Foster & Cecilia Briceno-Garmendia, 2010. "Africa's Infrastructure : A Time for Transformation," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2692.
- John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Mellinger, 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," CID Working Papers 1, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
- Jeremy Atack & Fred Bateman & Michael Haines & Robert A. Margo, 2009.
"Did Railroads Induce or Follow Economic Growth? Urbanization and Population Growth in the American Midwest, 1850-60,"
NBER Working Papers
14640, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jeremy Atack & Fred Bateman & Michael Haines & Robert A. Margo, 2009. "Did Railroads Induce Or Follow Economic Growth? Urbanization And Population Growth In The American Midwest, 1850-60," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-178, Boston University - Department of Economics.
- Pholo Bala, Alain, 2009. "Gates, hubs and urban primacy in Sub-Saharan Africa," CORE Discussion Papers 2009039, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- Conley, T. G., 1999. "GMM estimation with cross sectional dependence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-45, September.
- J. Vernon Henderson & Adam Storeygard & David N. Weil, 2012.
"Measuring Economic Growth from Outer Space,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 994-1028, April.
- Vernon Henderson & Adam Storeygard & David N. Weil, 2009. "Measuring Economic Growth from Outer Space," Working Papers 2009-8, Brown University, Department of Economics.
- J. Vernon Henderson & Adam Storeygard & David N. Weil, 2009. "Measuring Economic Growth from Outer Space," NBER Working Papers 15199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Fay, Marianne & Opal, Charlotte, 2000. "Urbanization without growth : a not-so-uncommon phenomenon," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2412, The World Bank.
- Ades, Alberto F & Glaeser, Edward L, 1995.
"Trade and Circuses: Explaining Urban Giants,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 110(1), pages 195-227, February.
- Alberto F. Ades & Edward L. Glaeser, 1994. "Trade and Circuses: Explaining Urban Giants," NBER Working Papers 4715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Glaeser, E.L. & Ades, A.F., 1993. "Trade and Circuses: Explaining Urban Giants," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1646, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Vernon Henderson & Adam Storeygard & David N. Weil, 2011. "A Bright Idea for Measuring Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 194-99, May.
- Nathaniel Baum-Snow, 2007. "Did Highways Cause Suburbanization?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(2), pages 775-805, 05.
- Henderson, Vernon, 2002. "Urban primacy, external costs, and quality of life," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 95-106, February.
- David von Below & Pierre-Louis Vezina, 2013. "The Trade Consequences of Pricey Oil," OxCarre Working Papers 115, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
- Monica Beuran & Marie Castaing Gachassin & Gaël Raballand, 2013.
"Are There Myths on Road Impact and Transport in Sub-Saharan Africa?,"
UniversitÃ© Paris1 PanthÃ©on-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers)
- Monica Beuran & Marie Castaing Gachassin & Gaël Raballand, 2013. "Are There Myths on Road Impact and Transport in Sub-Saharan Africa?," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 13049, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.