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Spatial Disparities in Developing Countries: Cities, Regions and International Trade

  • Anthony J. Venables

Spatial inequality in developing countries is due to the natural advantages of some regions relative to others and to the presence of agglomeration forces, leading to clustering of activity. This paper reviews and develops some simple models that capture these first and second nature economic geographies. The presence of increasing returns to scale in cities leads to urban structures that are not optimally sized. This depresses the return to job creation, possibly retarding development. Looking at the wider regional structure, development can be associated with large shifts in the location of activity as industry goes from being inward looking to being export oriented.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0593.

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Date of creation: Nov 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0593
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  1. Abdel-Rahman, Hesham M. & Anas, Alex, 2004. "Theories of systems of cities," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 52, pages 2293-2339 Elsevier.
  2. Diego Puga, 1996. "Urbanisation patterns: European vs less developed countries," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20656, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Henry Overman & Stephen Redding & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Economic Geography of Trade, Production, and Income: A Survey of Empirics," CEP Discussion Papers dp0508, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Besley, Timothy J. & Burgess, Robin, 2002. "Can Labour Regulation Hinder Economic Performance? Evidence from India," CEPR Discussion Papers 3260, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Henderson, Vernon & Becker, Randy, 2000. "Political Economy of City Sizes and Formation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 453-484, November.
  6. Raul Livas Elizondo & Paul Krugman, 1992. "Trade Policy and the Third World Metropolis," NBER Working Papers 4238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. J.V. Henderson, 1972. "The Sizes and Types of Cities," Working Papers 75, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  8. Alberto F. Ades & Edward L. Glaeser, 1994. "Trade and Circuses: Explaining Urban Giants," NBER Working Papers 4715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  10. Fujita, M. & Thisse, J.-F., . "Economics of agglomeration," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1250, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  11. Jonathan Eaton & Zvi Eckstein, 1994. "Cities and Growth: Theory and Evidence from France and Japan," NBER Working Papers 4612, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 1999. "A Theory of Urban Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 252-284, April.
  13. J. Vernon Henderson, Zmarak Shalizi, and Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "Geography and development," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 81-105, January.
  14. Anas, Alex, 1992. "On the birth and growth of cities: : Laissez-faire and planning compared," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 243-258, June.
  15. Masahisa Fujita & Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561476, June.
  16. Henderson, Vernon, 2003. " The Urbanization Process and Economic Growth: The So-What Question," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 47-71, March.
  17. Henderson, J. Vernon, 2005. "Urbanization and Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 24, pages 1543-1591 Elsevier.
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