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Spatial disparities in developing countries: cities, regions and international trade

  • Tony Venables

Spatial inequality in developing countries is due to the natural advantages of some regions relative to others and to the presence of agglomeration forces, leading to clustering of activity. This paper reviews and develops some simple models that capture these first and second nature economic geographies. The presence of increasing returns to scale in cities leads to urban structures that are not optimally sized. This depresses the return to job creation, possibly retarding development. Looking at the wider regional structure, development can be associated with large shifts in the location of activity as industry goes from being inward looking to being export oriented.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/2038/
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 2038.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:2038
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. Henderson, Vernon & Becker, Randy, 2000. "Political Economy of City Sizes and Formation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 453-484, November.
  2. Fujita, Masahisa & Thisse, Jacques-François, 1996. "Economics of Agglomeration," CEPR Discussion Papers 1344, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Raul Livas Elizondo & Paul Krugman, 1992. "Trade Policy and the Third World Metropolis," NBER Working Papers 4238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Eaton, Jonathan & Eckstein, Zvi, 1997. "Cities and growth: Theory and evidence from France and Japan," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4-5), pages 443-474, August.
  5. J.V. Henderson, 1972. "The Sizes and Types of Cities," Working Papers 75, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  6. Henderson, J. Vernon, 2005. "Urbanization and Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 24, pages 1543-1591 Elsevier.
  7. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 1999. "A Theory of Urban Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 252-284, April.
  8. Henry Overman & Stephen Redding & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Economic Geography of Trade, Production, and Income: A Survey of Empirics," CEP Discussion Papers dp0508, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  9. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Abdel-Rahman, Hesham M. & Anas, Alex, 2004. "Theories of systems of cities," 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 52, pages 2293-2339 Elsevier.
  11. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2004. "Can Labor Regulation Hinder Economic Performance? Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 91-134, February.
  12. 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.
  13. Glaeser, E.L. & Ades, A.F., 1993. "Trade and Circuses: Explaining Urban Giants," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1646, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  14. J. Vernon Henderson, Zmarak Shalizi, and Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "Geography and development," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 81-105, January.
  15. Masahisa Fujita & Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561476, June.
  16. Diego Puga, 1996. "Urbanisation Patterns: European vs Less Developed Countries," CEP Discussion Papers dp0305, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  17. Anas, Alex, 1992. "On the birth and growth of cities: : Laissez-faire and planning compared," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 243-258, June.
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