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Urban and regional dynamics in Poland

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  • Deichmann, Uwe
  • Henderson, Vernon

Abstract

In this exploration of urban and regional dynamics in Poland after the transition, the authors find that the degree of urbanization, and primacy remains low in Poland. The largest cities are not growing at the rate that would be expected if post-transition adjustments were operating freely. As a result, Poland is not fully realizing external economies from urban agglomeration. Internal migration decreased significantly in the 1990s, with rural-to-urban migration declining dramatically. Current population levels everywhere seem frozen at a degree of urbanization that is low by international standards. Migration levels do not respond to unemployment differentials, perhaps because Poland's continuing housing shortage, deters migration. Housing construction, which was already low, fell by half in the 1990s, and has only recently begun a slight recovery. A significant number of mostly young, and educated temporary migrants leave Poland annually, many to find employment abroad. This may reduce pressure on the Polish labor market, but also keeps dynamic actors our of the domestic labor force, reducing growth in urban businesses and industry. Employment in manufacturing and agriculture is relatively concentrated, but specialization seems to have declined in recent years, perhaps reflecting barriers to labor mobility - which could limit growth. That employment in the manufacturing sector is quite concentrated, is to be expected in a formerly planned economy. But employment in the service sector, is also quite concentrated. A geographic divergence of service activities is not explained by dominant growth in specialized financial, and business services in the capital alone. Poland's policymakers should find a way to provide housing, thereby reducing barriers to labor mobility, and growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Deichmann, Uwe & Henderson, Vernon, 2000. "Urban and regional dynamics in Poland," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2457, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2457
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
    3. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 2003. "Urban evolution in the USA," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(4), pages 343-372, October.
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    5. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law for Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767.
    6. Mayo, Stephen K. & Stein, James I. & INU, 1988. "Housing and labor market distortions in Poland : linkages and policy implications," Policy Research Working Paper Series 361, The World Bank.
    7. J. Vernon Henderson, 2000. "The Effects of Urban Concentration on Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 7503, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Rice, Patricia & Venables, Anthony J. & Patacchini, Eleonora, 2006. "Spatial determinants of productivity: Analysis for the regions of Great Britain," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 727-752, November.
    2. Dirk Bezemer & Junior Davis, 2005. "The rural non-agricultural economy in transition countries: Enterprise level findings from Armenia," Development and Comp Systems 0510020, EconWPA.
    3. Laura Resmini, 2003. "Economic integration and regional patterns of industry location in transition countries," ERSA conference papers ersa03p399, European Regional Science Association.
    4. Danilo Camargo Igliori, 2006. "Deforestation, Growth And Agglomeration Effects: Evidence From Agriculture In The Brazilian Amazon," Anais do XXXIV Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 34th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 102, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    5. Chor-ching Goh & Beata S. Javorcik, 2007. "Trade Protection and Industry Wage Structure in Poland," NBER Chapters,in: Globalization and Poverty, pages 337-372 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Walsh, Patrick Paul, 2003. "The cyclical pattern of regional unemployment flows in Poland," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 155-169, June.
    7. Resmini, Laura, 2003. "Economic integration, industry location and frontier economies in transition countries," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 205-221, June.
    8. Duebel, Hans-Joachim & Brzeski, W. Jan & Hamilton, Ellen, 2006. "Rental choice and housing policy realignment in transition : post-privatization challenges in the Europe and Central Asia region," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3884, The World Bank.
    9. Silaghi, Monica Ioana & Ghatak, Subrata, 2011. "Why do not They Move from Rural to Urban Areas? Inter-Regional Migration in Romania," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(1), pages 143-158, March.
    10. Junior Davis & Dirk Bezemer, 2005. "Key emerging and conceptual issues in the development of the rural non-farm economy in developing countries and transition economies," Development and Comp Systems 0510017, EconWPA.
    11. BOURDEAU-LEPAGE, Lise, 2001. "Marchés du travail et disparités régionales en Pologne," LATEC - Document de travail - Economie (1991-2003) 2001-08, LATEC, Laboratoire d'Analyse et des Techniques EConomiques, CNRS UMR 5118, Université de Bourgogne.

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