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Infrastructure and City Competitiveness in India

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  • Lall,Somik V.
  • Gun Wang, Hyoung
  • Deichmann, Uwe

Abstract

Do local improvements in infrastructure provision improve city competitiveness? What public finance mechanisms stimulate local infrastructure supply? And how do local efforts compare with national decisions of placing inter-regional trunk infrastructure? In this paper, we examine how the combination of local and national infrastructure supply improve city competitiveness, measured as the city’s share of national private investment. For the empirical analysis, we collect city-level data for India, and link private investment decisions to infrastructure provision. We find that a city’s proximity to international ports and highways connecting large domestic markets has the largest effect on its attractiveness for private investment. In comparison, the supply of local infrastructure services – such as municipal roads, street lighting, water supply, and drainage – enhance competitiveness, but their impacts are much smaller. Thus, while local efforts are important for competitiveness, they are less likely to be successful in cities distant from the country’s main trunk infrastructure. In terms of financing local infrastructure, we find that a city’s ability to raise its own source revenues by means of local taxes and user fees increases infrastructure supply, whereas as inter governmental transfers do not have statistically significant effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Lall,Somik V. & Gun Wang, Hyoung & Deichmann, Uwe, 2010. "Infrastructure and City Competitiveness in India," WIDER Working Paper Series 022, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2010-22
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    Cited by:

    1. Roberts,Mark, 2016. "Identifying the economic potential of Indian districts," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7623, The World Bank.
    2. Ejaz Ghani & Arti Grover Goswami & William R. Kerr, 2012. "Is India’s Manufacturing Sector Moving Away From Cities?," Harvard Business School Working Papers 12-090, Harvard Business School.
    3. Klaus Desmet & Ejaz Ghani & Stephen O'Connell & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2015. "The Spatial Development Of India," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 10-30, January.
    4. Das, Samarjit & Ghate, Chetan & Robertson, Peter E., 2015. "Remoteness, Urbanization, and India’s Unbalanced Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 572-587.
    5. Ying Jin & Richard Bullock & Wanli Fang, 2013. "Regional Impacts of High Speed Rail in China : Spatial Proximity and Productivity in an Emerging Economy," World Bank Other Operational Studies 19989, The World Bank.

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    Keywords

    urbanization; cities; India; infrastructure;

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