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Demography, urbanization and development: Rural push, urban pull and…urban push?

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  • Jedwab, Remi
  • Christiaensen, Luc
  • Gindelsky, Marina

Abstract

Developing countries have urbanized rapidly since 1950. To explain urbanization, standard models emphasize rural–urban migration, focusing on rural push factors (agricultural modernization and rural poverty) and urban pull factors (industrialization and urban-biased policies). Using new historical data on urban birth and death rates for 7 countries from Industrial Europe (1800–1910) and 35 developing countries (1960–2010), we argue that a non-negligible part of developing countries’ rapid urban growth and urbanization may also be linked to demographic factors, i.e. rapid internal urban population growth, or an urban push. High urban natural increase in today’s developing countries follows from lower urban mortality, relative to Industrial Europe, where higher urban deaths offset urban births. This compounds the effects of migration and displays strong associations with urban congestion, providing additional insight into the phenomenon of urbanization without growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Jedwab, Remi & Christiaensen, Luc & Gindelsky, Marina, 2017. "Demography, urbanization and development: Rural push, urban pull and…urban push?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 6-16.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:98:y:2017:i:c:p:6-16
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jue.2015.09.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Evert Meijers & Martijn Burger & Gilles Duranton, 2016. "Determinants of city growth in Colombia," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(1), pages 101-131, March.
    2. Tandon, Sharad & Landes, Maurice & Christensen, Cheryl & LeGrand, Steven & Broussard, Nzinga & Farrin, Katie & Thome, Karen, 2017. "Progress and Challenges in Global Food Security," Economic Information Bulletin 262131, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    3. Théo Benonnier & Katrin Millock & Vis Taraz, 2019. "Climate change, migration, and irrigation," PSE Working Papers halshs-02107098, HAL.
    4. repec:spr:endesu:v:20:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s10668-017-9965-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:anr:reveco:v:10:y:2018:p:287-314 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Bjerke, Lina & Mellander, Charlotta, 2019. "Mover Stayer Winner Loser - A study of income effects from rural migration," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 476, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    7. repec:eaa:eerese:v:19:y2019:i:1_4 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. J. Vernon Henderson & Sebastian Kriticos, 2018. "The Development of the African System of Cities," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 10(1), pages 287-314, August.
    9. repec:eee:ecolet:v:157:y:2017:i:c:p:97-102 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:aea:aejmac:v:11:y:2019:i:1:p:223-75 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Urbanization; Urban mortality; Killer cities; Mushroom cities; Urban push; Population growth; Migration; Congestion; Slums;

    JEL classification:

    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts

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