A World of Cities: The Causes and Consequences of Urbanization in Poorer Countries
Historically, urban growth required enough development to grow and transport significant agricultural surpluses or a government effective enough to build an empire. But there has been an explosion of poor mega-cities over the last thirty years. A simple urban model illustrates that in closed economies, agricultural prosperity leads to more urbanization but that in an open economy, urbanization increases with agricultural desperation. The challenge of developing world mega-cities is that poverty and weak governance reduce the ability to address the negative externalities that come with density. This paper models the connection between urban size and institutional failure, and shows that urban anonymity causes institutions to break down. For large cities with weak governments, draconian policies may be the only way to curb negative externalities, suggesting a painful tradeoff between dictatorship and disorder. A simple model suggests that private provision of infrastructure to reduce negative externalities is less costly when city populations are low or institutions are strong, but that public provision can cost less in bigger cities.
|Date of creation:||Dec 2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Raul Livas Elizondo & Paul Krugman, 1992.
"Trade Policy and the Third World Metropolis,"
NBER Working Papers
4238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kiminori Matsuyama, 1991.
"Agricultural Productivity, Comparative Advantage and Economic Growth,"
NBER Working Papers
3606, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Matsuyama, Kiminori, 1992. "Agricultural productivity, comparative advantage, and economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 317-334, December.
- Kiminori Matsuyama, 1990. "Agricultural Productivity, Comparative Advantage, and Economic Growth," Discussion Papers 934, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Ethier, Wilfred, 1979. "Internationally decreasing costs and world trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-24, February.
- Gary S. Becker, 1968.
"Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1996.
"Why is There More Crime in Cities?,"
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers
1746, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- David Friedman, 1999. "Why Not Hang Them All: The Virtues of Inefficient Punishment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S259-S269, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19745. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.