IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Taille des villes, urbanisation et spécialisations économiques; Une analyse sur micro-données exhaustives des 10 000 localités maliennes

  • Claire Bernard



  • Sandrine Mesplé-Somps


    (DIAL, IRD, Paris)

  • Gilles Spielvogel


    (UMR Développement et Société, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)

This paper uses exhaustive individual-level data from the Malian 1976, 1987 and 1998 censuses to analyze the urbanization process and economic specialization of cities in Mali. We first construct an exhaustive panel data set of the 10,000 Malian localities. In order to analyze urban areas that make sense from an economic point of view, we develop a consistent method to construct functional urban agglomerations, based on a density threshold for contiguous localities. Our definition of "cities" therefore abstracts from any administrative criteria. These data enable us to study the dynamics of the complete distribution of urban and rural localities from 1976 to 1998. We show that the urbanization process in Mali is mainly due to the spatial extension and population growth of Bamako, the capital city and to the demographic growth of small rural market towns. Consequently, the density of the Malian urban system is very low and urban primacy very high. We then turn to an econometric analysis of the determinants of non-agricultural employment growth between 1987 and 1998 by locality. We focus on two main factors: population density, which may induce agglomeration externalities that attract workers and firms; and the degree of specialization of economic activities that could capture industry level externalities. Controlling for a range of other characteristics like distance to the road network, administrative status, physical geography, and rainfall shocks, we show that total employment has been spreading out mainly due to the spreading out of primary employment. Primary sector dynamic is impacted by market access. Services and industry jobs cluster in cities and small towns, due mainly to public infrastructure amenities rather than urbanization externalities or sectoral externalities, the latter being not significant and the former significant but weak. _________________________________ A partir de données exhaustives des recensements maliens de la population de 1976, 1987 et 1998, cette étude analyse le processus d’urbanisation et de spécialisation économique des 10 000 localités maliennes. Grâce à un travail d’appariement minutieux, rarement entrepris même dans les pays développés, nous constituons un panel de l’ensemble des localités et nous définissons les agglomérations urbaines en fonction de leurs tailles, densités et contiguïtés. Nous montrons que le Mali est un pays où la concentration des populations s’est opérée prioritairement à Bamako et dans des petits bourgs ruraux et que son tissu urbain est très peu dense. La primatialité du système urbain est alors très élevée. L’analyse de la dynamique de l’emploi révèle que le processus d’urbanisation du Mali s’accompagne plutôt d’un processus de dispersion spatiale des emplois. Cependant, on observe que la croissance des emplois des branches secondaire et tertiaire au sein des villes et des bourgs ruraux de plus de 1 000 habitants dépend positivement de la taille des marchés. Les villes maliennes et leurs concentrations d’habitants permettent donc un dynamisme plus important de l’emploi dans les branches non agricoles. On observe que les zones d’expansion de la culture du coton sont les zones où la croissance démographique des localités est plus forte, sans pour autant que cela occasionne un dynamisme plus important de l’emploi non agricole.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: First version, 2012
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation) in its series Working Papers with number DT/2012/17.

in new window

Length: 61 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2012
Handle: RePEc:dia:wpaper:dt201217
Contact details of provider: Postal:
4, rue d'Enghien, 75010 Paris

Phone: + 33 1 53 24 14 50
Fax: + 33 1 53 24 14 51
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dia:wpaper:dt201217. 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: (Loic Le Pezennec)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.