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Gates, hubs and urban primacy in Sub-Saharan Africa


  • Pholo Bala, Alain

    () (Université catholique de Louvain (UCL). Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE))


We investigate the impact of changes in international trade and domestic transport costs on the internal geography of a domestic economy linked to the rest of the World through a hub. We address that issue by developing two three regions model, namely a version of the Footlose Entrepreneur and a model à la Ottaviano et al. (2002). One region represents the rest of the World, while the two others compose the domestic economy. One region of the Domestic economy, the hub, exhibits a 'geographical advantage' in terms of easier access to the rest of the World. We find the standard result that decreases in transports and trade costs raise the likelihood of agglomeration in the domestic economy. However, high interregional transport may induce partial agglomeration in the hinterland even in case of trade integration. Therefore depending on the level of transportation costs, hinterland remoteness may not be a locational 'disadvantage' as Behrens et al. (2007) pointed out.

Suggested Citation

  • Pholo Bala, Alain, 2009. "Gates, hubs and urban primacy in Sub-Saharan Africa," CORE Discussion Papers 2009039, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2009039

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    Cited by:

    1. Adam Storeygard, 2016. "Farther on down the Road: Transport Costs, Trade and Urban Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(3), pages 1263-1295.

    More about this item


    economic geography; urban primacy; hub; developing countries;

    JEL classification:

    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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