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The Geography of Development within Countries

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  • Desmet, Klaus
  • Henderson, J Vernon

Abstract

This chapter describes how the spatial distribution of economic activity changes as economies develop and grow. We start with the relation between development and rural-urban migration. Moving beyond the coarse rural-urban distinction, we then focus on the continuum of locations in an economy and describe how the patterns of convergence and divergence change with development. As we discuss, these spatial dynamics often mask important differences across sectors. We then turn our attention to the right tail of the distribution, the urban sector. We analyze how the urban hierarchy has changed over time in developed countries and more recently in developing countries. The chapter reviews both the empirical evidence and the theoretical models that can account for what we observe in the data. When discussing the stylized facts on geography and development, we draw on empirical evidence from both the historical evolution of today's developed economies and comparisons between today's developed and developing economies.

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  • Desmet, Klaus & Henderson, J Vernon, 2014. "The Geography of Development within Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 10150, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10150
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    Cited by:

    1. J. Vernon Henderson & Sebastian Kriticos, 2018. "The Development of the African System of Cities," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 10(1), pages 287-314, August.
    2. Jedwab, Remi & Christiaensen, Luc & Gindelsky, Marina, 2017. "Demography, urbanization and development: Rural push, urban pull and…urban push?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 6-16.
    3. Behrens, Kristian & Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric, 2015. "Agglomeration Theory with Heterogeneous Agents," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 171-245, Elsevier.
    4. Henderson, J. Vernon & Storeygard, Adam & Deichmann, Uwe, 2017. "Has climate change driven urbanization in Africa?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 60-82.
    5. Zhang, Wenjia & Kockelman, Kara M., 2016. "Optimal policies in cities with congestion and agglomeration externalities: Congestion tolls, labor subsidies, and place-based strategies," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 64-86.
    6. Peter H. Egger & Marko Köthenbürger & Gabriel Loumeau, 2017. "Local Border Reforms and Economic Activity," CESifo Working Paper Series 6738, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Sandra Achten & Christian Lessmann, 2019. "Spatial inequality, geography and economic activity," CESifo Working Paper Series 7547, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. repec:eee:juecon:v:109:y:2019:i:c:p:1-13 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Chen, Ying & Henderson, J. Vernon & Cai, Wei, 2017. "Political favoritism in China’s capital markets and its effect on city sizes," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 69-87.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    developed countries; developing countries; development; economic geography; growth; space; urban economics;

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R1 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • 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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