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Development, agglomeration, and the organization of work

  • Fafchamps, Marcel

This paper discusses how the mechanisms that allocate workers to tasks vary systematically with isolation from markets and hence with distance from urban centers. This in turn affects social norms, household structure, and the perceived benefits of migration. The relevance of the framework is illustrated with empirical evidence from personal research, much of which is based on a detailed analysis of Nepal in the 1990s. The evidence shows that away from cities, economic activity reverts largely around the family and the household. Agglomeration makes gains from specialization possible. This leads to self-employment in non-farm activities, but not necessarily to wage employment. The evidence also shows that proximity to markets generates not only higher monetary income but also welfare gains that attract migrants and foster urbanization.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 42 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 459-472

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Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:42:y:2012:i:3:p:459-472
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/regec

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  1. Marcel Fafchamps & Agnes Quisumbing, 2002. "Assets at Marriage in Rural Ethiopia," CSAE Working Paper Series 2002-22, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  2. Fafchamps, Marcel & Minten, Bart, 1999. "Property rights in a flea market economy," MTID discussion papers 27, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Patrick Legros & Andrew F. Newman, 2007. "Beauty Is a Beast, Frog Is a Prince: Assortative Matching with Nontransferabilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(4), pages 1073-1102, 07.
  4. David McKenzie & John Gibson & Steven Stillman, 2010. "How Important Is Selection? Experimental vs. Non-Experimental Measures of the Income Gains from Migration," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(4), pages 913-945, 06.
  5. Fafchamps, Marcel & Shilpi, Forhad, 2008. "Isolation and subjective welfare : evidence from South Asia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4535, The World Bank.
  6. Fafchamps, Marcel & Shilpi, Forhad, 2009. "Determinants of the Choice of Migration Destination," CEPR Discussion Papers 7407, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Fafchamps, Marcel & Shilpi, Forhad, 2008. "Subjective welfare, isolation, and relative consumption," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 43-60, April.
  8. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  9. Joseph G. Altonji & Fumio Hayashi & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1995. "Parental Altruism and Inter Vivos Transfers: Theory and Evidence," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 65, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  10. Geeta Kingdon & John Knight, 2001. "Unemployment in South Africa: the nature of the beast," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2001-15, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  11. Marcel Fafchamps & Forhad Shilpi, 2003. "The spatial division of labour in Nepal," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(6), pages 23-66.
  12. Francis Bloch (GREQAM and Universite de la Mediterranee), Garance Genicot (Georgetown University, and Debraj Ray (New York University and Instituto de Analisis Economico (CSIC)), 2004. "Informal Insurance in Social Networks," Working Papers gueconwpa~04-04-16, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  13. Pieter Serneels, 2007. "The Nature of Unemployment among Young Men in Urban Ethiopia," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(1), pages 170-186, 02.
  14. M. Fafchamps & A. R. Quisumbing, 2002. "Control and Ownership of Assets Within Rural Ethiopian Households," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(6), pages 47-82.
  15. Desmet, Klaus & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2006. "Employment concentration across U.S. counties," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 482-509, July.
  16. Marcel Fafchamps & Jackline Wahba, 2004. "Child Labor, Urban Proximity, and Household Composition," Economics Series Working Papers 213, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  17. McKenzie, David & Gibson, John & Stillman, Steven, 2006. "How important is selection ? Experimental versus non-experimental measures of the income gains from migration," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3906, The World Bank.
  18. Coate, Stephen & Ravallion, Martin, 1993. "Reciprocity without commitment : Characterization and performance of informal insurance arrangements," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-24, February.
  19. Marcel Fafchamps & Agnes R. Quisumbing, 2000. "Social Roles, Human Capital, and the Intrahousehold Division of Labour: Evidence from Pakistan," Economics Series Working Papers 11, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  20. Lundberg, S. & Pollak, R.A., 1991. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Working Papers 91-08, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  21. Klaus Desmet & Marcel Fafchamps, 2005. "Changes in the spatial concentration of employment across US counties: a sectoral analysis 1972--2000," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(3), pages 261-284, June.
  22. McElroy, Marjorie B & Horney, Mary Jean, 1981. "Nash-Bargained Household Decisions: Toward a Generalization of the Theory of Demand," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 22(2), pages 333-49, June.
  23. David McKenzie & John Gibson & Steven Stillman, 2006. "How Important is Selection? Experimental vs Non-experimental Measures of Income Gains from Migration," Working Papers in Economics 06/03, University of Waikato, Department of Economics.
  24. Fafchamps, Marcel & Quisumbing, Agnes R., 2008. "Household Formation and Marriage Markets in Rural Areas," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
  25. Marcel Fafchamps & Agnes R. Quisumbing, . "Human Capital, Productivity, and Labor Allocation in Rural Pakistan," Working Papers 97019, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  26. Marcel Fafchamps & Forhad Shilpi, 2003. "Cities and Specialization: Evidence from South Asia," Economics Series Working Papers 139, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  27. Marcel Fafchamps & Bereket Kebede & Agnes R. Quisumbing, 2009. "Intrahousehold Welfare in Rural Ethiopia," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(4), pages 567-599, 08.
  28. Marcel Fafchamps, 2004. "Market Institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa: Theory and Evidence," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262062364, June.
  29. Parente, Stephen L & Prescott, Edward C, 1994. "Barriers to Technology Adoption and Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 298-321, April.
  30. Jean-Philippe Platteau, 2000. "Allocating and Enforcing Property Rights in Land: Informal versus Formal Mechanisms in Subsaharan Africa," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 26, pages 55-81.
  31. Fafchamps, Marcel & Quisumbing, Agnes R, 2005. "Marriage, Bequest, and Assortative Matching in Rural Ethiopia," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(2), pages 347-80, January.
  32. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, October.
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