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Cities in the developing world

  • Henry G. Overman
  • Anthony J. Venables

Rapid urbanisation is a major feature of developing countries. Some 2 billion more people are likely to become city residents in the next 30 years, yet urbanisation has received little attention in the modern development economics literature. This paper reviews theoretical and empirical work on the determinants and effects of urbanisation. This suggests that there are substantial productivity benefits from cities, although unregulated outcomes may well lead to excessive primacy as externalities and coordination failures inhibit decentralisation of economic activity. Policy should operate both by identifying and addressing these market failures, and by seeking to remove institutional obstacles to decentralisation.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/19887/
File Function: Open access version.
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 19887.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:19887
Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.
Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

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  1. Brueckner, Jan K, 1990. "Analyzing Third World Urbanization: A Model with Empirical Evidence," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(3), pages 587-610, April.
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  8. Gilles Duranton & Diego Puga, 2000. "Nursery Cities: Urban diversity, process innovation, and the life-cycle of products," Working Papers dpuga-00-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  9. Alberto F. Ades & Edward L. Glaeser, 1994. "Trade and Circuses: Explaining Urban Giants," NBER Working Papers 4715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jonathan Eaton & Zvi Eckstein, 1994. "Cities and Growth: Theory and Evidence from france and Japan," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 36, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  11. Lall, Somik V. & Shalizi, Zmarak & Deichmann, Uwe, 2004. "Agglomeration economies and productivity in Indian industry," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 643-673, April.
  12. Richardson, Harry W, 1987. "The Costs of Urbanization: A Four-Country Comparison," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(3), pages 561-80, April.
  13. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2004. "Evidence on the nature and sources of agglomeration economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 49, pages 2119-2171 Elsevier.
  14. Henderson, J V, 1974. "The Sizes and Types of Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(4), pages 640-56, September.
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  16. Arnott, Richard J & Gersovitz, Mark, 1986. "Social Welfare Underpinnings of Urban Bias and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(382), pages 413-24, June.
  17. Rodrik, Dani, 2004. "Industrial Policy for the Twenty-First Century," CEPR Discussion Papers 4767, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Henderson, J. Vernon, 1991. "Urban Development: Theory, Fact, and Illusion," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195069020, March.
  19. Henderson, J Vernon & Venables, Anthony J, 2004. "The Dynamics of City Formation: Finance and Governance," CEPR Discussion Papers 4638, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Henderson, Vernon, 2003. " The Urbanization Process and Economic Growth: The So-What Question," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 47-71, March.
  21. Wheaton, William C & Shishido, Hisanobu, 1981. "Urban Concentration, Agglomeration Economies, and the Level of Economic Development," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 17-30, October.
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