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Viewpoint: From cities to productivity and growth in developing countries

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  • Gilles Duranton

Abstract

. This paper reviews the evidence about the effects of urbanization and cities on productivity and economic growth in developing countries using a consistent theoretical framework. As in developed economies, there is strong evidence that cities in developing countries bolster productive efficiency. Regarding whether cities promote self‐sustained growth, the evidence is suggestive but ultimately inconclusive. These findings imply that the traditional agenda of aiming to raise within‐city efficiency should be continued. Furthermore, reducing the obstacles to the reallocation of factors across cities is also desirable. Ce texte passe en revue les résultats de la recherche sur les effets de l'urbanisation et des villes sur la productivité et la croissance économique dans les pays en voie de développement à l'aide d'un cadre théorique cohérent. Comme dans les économies développées, les villes sont porteuses d'efficacité productive dans les pays en voie de développement. Pour ce qui est de l'impact des villes sur la croissance auto‐entretenue, les résultats sont suggestifs mais en dernière analyse non‐concluants. Ces résultats indiquent qu'on doit continuer les efforts suggérés par les politiques traditionnelles qui visent à accroître l'efficacité dans les villes. De plus, il semble aussi désirable d'éliminer ou d'atténuer l'action des facteurs qui empêchent la ré‐allocation des facteurs de production entre villes.

Suggested Citation

  • Gilles Duranton, 2008. "Viewpoint: From cities to productivity and growth in developing countries," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 41(3), pages 689-736, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:canjec:v:41:y:2008:i:3:p:689-736
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-5982.2008.00482.x
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    JEL classification:

    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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