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Urban productivity in the developing world

Author

Listed:
  • Edward L. Glaeser
  • Wentao Xiong

Abstract

Africa is urbanizing rapidly, and this creates both opportunities and challenges. Labour productivity appears to be much higher in developing-world cities than in rural areas, and historically urbanization is strongly correlated with economic growth. Education seems to be a strong complement to urbanization, and entrepreneurial human capital correlates strongly with urban success. Immigrants provide a natural source of entrepreneurship, both in the US and in Africa, which suggests that making African cities more livable can generate economic benefits by attracting talent. Reducing the negative externalities of urban life requires a combination of infrastructure, incentives, and institutions. Appropriate institutions can mean independent public authorities, public–private partnerships, and non-profit entities, depending on the setting.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward L. Glaeser & Wentao Xiong, 2017. "Urban productivity in the developing world," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(3), pages 373-404.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:33:y:2017:i:3:p:373-404.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/oxrep/grx034
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    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. China: Mao Strikes Back
      by Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz in Money, Banking and Financial Markets on 2019-01-28 14:10:43

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Duranton, Gilles & Venables, Anthony J, 2018. "Place-Based Policies for Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 12889, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Morgane De Halleux & Antonio Estache, 2018. "How “smart” are Latin American cities?," Working Papers ECARES 2018-05, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. repec:oup:oxford:v:33:y:2017:i:3:p:355-372. is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:cog:urbpla:v:3:y:2018:i:2:p:21-34 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:wiw:wiwreg:region_5_1_245 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    urban productivity; developing-world cities; agglomeration; education; entrepreneurship; immigration;

    JEL classification:

    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R00 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General - - - General
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship

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