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Urbanisation and Migration: An Analysis of Trends, Patterns and Policies in Asia

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  • Kundu, Amitabh

Abstract

The present paper overviews urbanisation and migration process in Asian countries at macro level since 1950s, including the projections made till 2030. It questions the thesis of southward movement of urbanisation and that of urban explosion in Asia. Increased unaffordability of urban space and basic amenities, negative policy perspective towards migration and various rural development pogrammes designed to discourage migration are responsible for this exclusionary urban growth and a distinct decline in urban rural growth differential, with the major exception of China. The changing structure of urban population across different size categories reveals a shift of growth dynamics from large to second order cities and stagnation of small towns. The pace of urbanization has been modest to high in select countries in Asia, not because of their level of economic growth but its composition and labour intensity of rapidly growing informal sectors. Several countries have launched programmes for improving governance and infrastructural facilities in a few large cities, attracting private investors from within as well as outside the country. These have pushed out squatter settlements, informal sector businesses along with a large number of pollutant industries to a few pockets and peripheries of the cities. The income level and quality of basic amenities in these cities, as a result, have gone up but that has been associated with increased intra-city disparity and creation of degenerated periphery. Nonetheless, there is no strong evidence that urbanization is associated with destabilization of agrarian economy, poverty and immiserisation, despite the measures of globalization resulting in regional imbalances. The overview of the trend and pattern suggests that the pace of urbanization would be reasonably high but much below the level projected by UNPD in the coming decades.

Suggested Citation

  • Kundu, Amitabh, 2009. "Urbanisation and Migration: An Analysis of Trends, Patterns and Policies in Asia," MPRA Paper 19197, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:19197
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/19197/1/MPRA_paper_19197.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Anderson, Kathryn & Pomfret, Richard, 2004. "Spatial Inequality and Development in Central Asia," WIDER Working Paper Series 036, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Richard H. Adams, Jr. & John Page, 2003. "International migration, remittances, and poverty in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3179, The World Bank.
    3. Larson, Donald & Mundlak, Yair, 1997. "On the Intersectoral Migration of Agricultural Labor," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 295-319, January.
    4. Tarp Jensen, Henning & Tarp, Finn, 2004. "Trade Liberalization and Spatial Inequality: A Methodological Innovation in Vietnamese Perspective," WIDER Working Paper Series 035, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. Henning Tarp Jensen & Finn Tarp, 2005. "Trade Liberalization and Spatial Inequality: a Methodological Innovation in a Vietnamese Perspective," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(1), pages 69-86, February.
    6. Yan Song & Yves Zenou & Chengri Ding, 2008. "Let's Not Throw the Baby Out with the Bath Water: The Role of Urban Villages in Housing Rural Migrants in China," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 45(2), pages 313-330, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Smriti Rao & Kade Finnoff, 2015. "Marriage Migration and Inequality in India, 1983–2008," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 41(3), pages 485-505, September.
    2. Wilson, E. J. & Jayanthakumaran, K. & Verma, R., 2012. "Demographics, Labor Mobility, and Productivity," ADBI Working Papers 387, Asian Development Bank Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    urbanisation; migration; exclusion; periphery; informalisation; small towns; economic concentration; urban rural growth differential; Asia; China and India;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • P25 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics
    • N95 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Asia including Middle East

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    1. Historical Economic Geography

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