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Trade policy and the Third World metropolis

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  • Krugman, Paul
  • Elizondo, Raul Livas

Abstract

Many of the world's largest cities are now in developing countries. We develop a simple theoretical model, inspired by the case of Mexico, that explains the existence of such giant cities as a consequence of the strong forward and backward linkages that arise when manufacturing tries to serve a small domestic market. The model implies that these linkages are much weaker when the economy is open to international trade -- in other words, the giant Third World metropolis is an unintended by-product of import-substitution policies, and will tend to shrink as developing countries liberalize.
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Suggested Citation

  • Krugman, Paul & Elizondo, Raul Livas, 1996. "Trade policy and the Third World metropolis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 137-150, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:49:y:1996:i:1:p:137-150
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    1. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-499, June.
    2. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    3. 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.
    4. Krugman, Paul, 1993. "On the number and location of cities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 293-298, April.
    5. Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1988. "Migration and urbanization," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 11, pages 425-465, Elsevier.
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