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Does Urbanization Affect Rural Poverty? Evidence from Indian Districts

  • Massimiliano Calì
  • Carlo Menon

Although a high rate of urbanization and a high incidence of rural poverty are two distinct features of many developing countries, there is little knowledge of the effects of the former on the latter. Using a large sample of Indian districts from the 1983–1999 period, we find that urbanization has a substantial and systematic poverty-reducing effect in the surrounding rural areas. The results obtained through an instrumental variable estimation suggest that this effect is causal in nature and is largely attributable to the positive spillovers of urbanization on the rural economy rather than to the movement of the rural poor to urban areas. This rural poverty-reducing effect of urbanization is primarily explained by increased demand for local agricultural products and, to a lesser extent, by urban-rural remittances, the rural land/population ratio, and rural nonfarm employment. Copyright 2013, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by World Bank Group in its journal The World Bank Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 27 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 171-201

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Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:27:y:2013:i:2:p:171-201
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