IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/12114.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

In Search of a Spatial Equilibrium in the Developing World

Author

Listed:
  • Gollin, Douglas
  • Kirchberger, Martina
  • Lagakos, David

Abstract

In most developing countries, there is a large gap in income per head between urban and rural areas. One appealing interpretation of this gap is that it reflects a spatial equilibrium, in which the higher incomes of urban areas are offset by lower non-monetary amenities. In this paper, we draw on new high-resolution evidence to document how amenities vary across space within twenty developing countries. We focus on measures of health, housing quality, crime and pollution. These vary substantially across space, and they can be carefully measured with highly comparable data. We find that in almost all countries, and for almost all measures, amenities are constant or increasing in population density. In addition, net internal migration flows are directed toward denser areas in every country. These findings are hard to reconcile with a spatial equilibrium. Instead, they suggest that developing countries are undergoing a reallocation of workers to densely populated areas, which offer higher living standards on average.

Suggested Citation

  • Gollin, Douglas & Kirchberger, Martina & Lagakos, David, 2017. "In Search of a Spatial Equilibrium in the Developing World," CEPR Discussion Papers 12114, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12114
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=12114
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Stephen J. Redding & Daniel M. Sturm, 2008. "The Costs of Remoteness: Evidence from German Division and Reunification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1766-1797, December.
    2. Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt & Stephen J. Redding & Daniel M. Sturm & Nikolaus Wolf, 2015. "The Economics of Density: Evidence From the Berlin Wall," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83, pages 2127-2189, November.
    3. Restuccia, Diego & Yang, Dennis Tao & Zhu, Xiaodong, 2008. "Agriculture and aggregate productivity: A quantitative cross-country analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 234-250, March.
    4. Dave Donaldson & Richard Hornbeck, 2016. "Railroads and American Economic Growth: A "Market Access" Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(2), pages 799-858.
    5. Roback, Jennifer, 1982. "Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1257-1278, December.
    6. Eric V. Denardo & Thomas Y. S. Lee, 1996. "Managing Uncertainty in a Serial Production Line," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 44(2), pages 382-392, April.
    7. Treb Allen & Costas Arkolakis, 2014. "Trade and the Topography of the Spatial Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(3), pages 1085-1140.
    8. Nathaniel Baum-Snow & Ronni Pavan, 2012. "Understanding the City Size Wage Gap," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 88-127.
    9. Douglas Gollin & Remi Jedwab & Dietrich Vollrath, 2016. "Urbanization with and without industrialization," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 35-70, March.
    10. Benjamin Faber & Cecile Gaubert, 2016. "Tourism and Economic Development: Evidence from Mexico's Coastline," NBER Working Papers 22300, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb, 2009. "The Wealth of Cities: Agglomeration Economies and Spatial Equilibrium in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(4), pages 983-1028, December.
    12. Janet Currie & Reed Walker, 2011. "Traffic Congestion and Infant Health: Evidence from E-ZPass," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 65-90, January.
    13. Chauvin, Juan Pablo & Glaeser, Edward & Ma, Yueran & Tobio, Kristina, 2017. "What is different about urbanization in rich and poor countries? Cities in Brazil, China, India and the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 17-49.
    14. Glaeser, Edward & Henderson, J. Vernon, 2017. "Urban economics for the developing World: An introduction," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 1-5.
    15. Marcel Fafchamps & Christine Moser, 2003. "Crime, Isolation and Law Enforcement," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 12(4), pages 625-671, December.
    16. Nathan Nunn & Leonard Wantchekon, 2011. "The Slave Trade and the Origins of Mistrust in Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3221-3252, December.
    17. Ciccone, Antonio & Hall, Robert E, 1996. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 54-70, March.
    18. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, "undated". "The Productivity of Nations," Working Papers 96012, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
    19. Feler, Leo & Henderson, J. Vernon, 2011. "Exclusionary policies in urban development: Under-servicing migrant households in Brazilian cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 253-272, May.
    20. Cecile Gaubert, 2016. "Tourism and Economic Development: Evidence from Mexico's Coastline," 2016 Meeting Papers 298, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    21. 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.
    22. Topel, Robert H, 1986. "Local Labor Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 111-143, June.
    23. Kahn, Matthew E. & Walsh, Randall, 2015. "Cities and the Environment," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.
    24. repec:adr:anecst:y:1996:i:41-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Duranton, Gilles & Gobillon, Laurent, 2008. "Spatial wage disparities: Sorting matters!," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 723-742, March.
    26. Joan Hamory Hicks & Marieke Kleemans & Nicholas Y. Li & Edward Miguel, 2017. "Reevaluating Agricultural Productivity Gaps with Longitudinal Microdata," NBER Working Papers 23253, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Samuel Bazzi & Arya Gaduh & Alexander D. Rothenberg & Maisy Wong, 2016. "Skill Transferability, Migration, and Development: Evidence from Population Resettlement in Indonesia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(9), pages 2658-2698, September.
    28. Ludwig, Jens & Cook, Philip J, 2001. "The Benefits of Reducing Gun Violence: Evidence from Contingent-Valuation Survey Data," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 207-226, May.
    29. Julio Raffo, 2015. "MATCHIT: Stata module to match two datasets based on similar text patterns," Statistical Software Components S457992, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 09 Apr 2017.
    30. Vollrath, Dietrich, 2009. "How important are dual economy effects for aggregate productivity?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 325-334, March.
    31. David Cutler & Grant Miller, 2005. "The role of public health improvements in health advances: The twentieth-century United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 42(1), pages 1-22, February.
    32. Kelly C. Bishop & Alvin D. Murphy, 2011. "Estimating the Willingness to Pay to Avoid Violent Crime: A Dynamic Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 625-629, May.
    33. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-142, March.
    34. Joseph Cummins, 2013. "On the Use and Misuse of Child Height-for-Age Z-score in the Demographic and Health Surveys," Working Papers 201417, University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    amenities; Development; disamenities; living standards; migration; spatial equilibrium;

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12114. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.