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Urbanization and Inequality in Asia

Listed author(s):
  • Ravi Kanbur

    (T. H. Lee Professor of World Affairs, International Professor of Applied Economics and Management, and Professor of Economics at Cornell University)

  • Juzhong Zhuang

    (Deputy Chief Economist, Economics and Research Department of the Asian Development Bank)

This paper provides a quantitative analysis of how the changing dual economic structure and urbanization affect inequality in Asia. Focusing on data for four countries—the Peoples’ Republic of China, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines—the paper asks three questions. First, how much of the past increase in inequality can be attributed to urbanization per se—the rising share of urban population, as opposed to other drivers related to the region's dual economic structure, such as the urban–rural income gap, inequality within the urban sector, and inequality within the rural sector? Second, how might urbanization affect these countries’ inequality in the future as its process continues? Third, moving forward, what is the relative importance of each of these drivers in containing rising inequality in Asia? It is hoped that the framework developed and calculations presented in this paper provide more insights into the dynamics of rising inequality in Asia and can help policy makers prioritize policy actions for confronting it. © 2013 Asian Development Bank and Asian Development Bank Institute.

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File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/ADEV_a_00006
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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Asian Development Review.

Volume (Year): 30 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 131-147

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:adbadr:v:30:y:2013:i:1:p:131-147
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  1. Anand, Sudhir & Kanbur, S. M. R., 1993. "Inequality and development A critique," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 19-43, June.
  2. Anand, Sudhir & Kanbur, S. M. R., 1993. "The Kuznets process and the inequality--development relationship," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 25-52, February.
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