Globalization, industrialization and urbanization in Pre-World War II Southeast Asia
This article uses new data to analyze the impact on Southeast Asian urbanization of globalization and industrialization in the world economy's core countries between the 1870s and World War II. Dramatic falls in transport costs and free trade, enforced, if necessary, by colonial rule, combined to open vast frontier areas throughout Southeast Asia to global commerce and create a handful of large urban centres. These cities, through linking Southeast Asian primary commodity exporters to world markets, grew predominantly as part of the global economy. Our econometric analysis shows that measures of globalization -- in particular industrial production in the world core and international transport costs -- are much better predictors of the size of Southeast Asia's main cities than domestic factors such as total population, GDP per capita, land area or government expenditure.
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