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Does Urbanisation Affect Rural Poverty? Evidence from Indian Districts

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  • Massimiliano Cali
  • Carlo Menon

Abstract

Although the high rate of urbanization and the high incidence of rural poverty are two distinct features of many developing countries, we still do not know the effects of the former on the latter. We address this issue by exploring the mechanisms through which urbanization may alleviate rural poverty, disentangling "first round" effects, due to migration of rural poor to cities, and "second round" effects, due to positive externalities of city growth on surrounding rural areas. We test our theoretical predictions on a sample of Indian districts in the period 1981-1999, and find that urbanization has a substantial and systematic poverty reducing effect in surrounding rural areas. This effect is largely attributable to positive spillovers from urbanisation rather than to the movement of the rural poor to urban areas per se. Results using IV estimation suggest that this effect is causal in nature (from urbanisation to rural poverty).

Suggested Citation

  • Massimiliano Cali & Carlo Menon, 2009. "Does Urbanisation Affect Rural Poverty? Evidence from Indian Districts," SERC Discussion Papers 0014, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:sercdp:0014
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    Cited by:

    1. Vandercasteelen, Joachim & Beyene, Seneshaw Tamru & Minten, Bart & Swinnen, Johan, 2018. "Cities and agricultural transformation in Africa: Evidence from Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 383-399.
    2. Mohamed El Hedi Arouri & Adel Ben Youssef & Cuong Nguyen-Viet & Agnès Soucat, 2014. "Effects of urbanization on economic growth and human capital formation in Africa," Working Papers halshs-01068271, HAL.
    3. S. Chandrasekhar & Mousumi Das & Ajay Sharma, 2015. "Short-term Migration and Consumption Expenditure of Households in Rural India," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 105-122, March.
    4. Imai, Katsushi S. & Gaiha, Raghav & Garbero, Alessandra, 2017. "Poverty reduction during the rural–urban transformation: Rural development is still more important than urbanisation," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 963-982.
    5. Ghani, Ejaz & Goswami, Arti Grover & Kerr, William R., 2012. "Is India's manufacturing sector moving away from cities ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6271, The World Bank.
    6. Juan Mauricio Ramírez & Juan Guillermo Bedoya & Yadira Díaz, 2016. "Geografía económica, descentralización y pobreza multidimensional en Colombia," CUADERNOS DE FEDESARROLLO 014443, FEDESARROLLO.
    7. Higashikata, Takayuki & Hashiguchi, Yoshihiro, 2017. "The causal effect of urbanization on rural poverty reduction: quasi-experimental evidence using Indonesian urban area data," IDE Discussion Papers 673, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    8. Arouri, Mohamed & Ben Youssef, Adel & Nguyen, Cuong, 2017. "Does urbanization reduce rural poverty? Evidence from Vietnam," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 253-270.
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    12. Joachim Vandercasteelen & Seneshaw Tamru & Bart Minten & Johan Swinnen, 2017. "Secondary towns, agricultural prices, and intensification: Evidence from Ethiopia," LICOS Discussion Papers 39317, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    13. Juan Mauricio Ramírez & Yadira Díaz & Juan Guillermo Bedoya, 2014. "Decentralization in Colombia: searching for social equity in a bumpy economic geography," WORKING PAPERS SERIES. DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 011557, FEDESARROLLO.
    14. Das, Samarjit & Ghate, Chetan & Robertson, Peter E., 2015. "Remoteness, Urbanization, and India’s Unbalanced Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 572-587.
    15. Koshy, Abraham & Narayanan, Priya, 2017. "A Study of the Evolution of Nature and Narration of Brands in an Emerging Market," IIMA Working Papers WP 2017-05-01, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Rural Poverty; Urbanization; Indian districts; India;

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • O2 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty

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