IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

About urban mega regions : knowns and unknowns


  • Yusuf, Shahid


Mega urban regions are not a passing phenomenon. They are likely to persist and to enlarge their economic footprints because they benefit from the advantages of market scale, agglomeration economies, location, and the increasing concentration of talented workers. Metropolitan regions which are polycentric, relatively well managed, and have invested heavily in transport infrastructure are able to contain some of the problems attendant upon a concentration of people and industry. Moreover, with energy and water resources becoming relatively scarce and many countries anxious to preserve arable land for farming, the economic advantages of densely populated urban areas are on the rise because they have a lower resource utilization quotient. During the next 15 years, mega urban economies could coalesce in three Southeast Asian locations: Bangkok, Jakarta, and the Singapore-Iskander Development Region (IDR, South Johor). The Bangkok and Jakarta (Jabotabek) metropolitan regions have passed the threshold at least in terms of population size but they have yet to approach the industrial diversity, dynamism, and growth rates of a Shanghai or a Shenzhen-Hong Kong region. Singapore, if coupled with IDR, has the potential butit is still far from being an integrated urban region. This paper examines the gains from closer economic integration and the issues to be settled before it could occur. The paper notes that a tightening of localized economic links between two sovereign nations through the formation of an urban region would involve a readiness to make long-term political commitments based on a widely perceived sense of substantial spillovers and equitably shared benefits. Delineating these benefits convincingly will be essential to winning political support and a precondition for a successful economic flowering.

Suggested Citation

  • Yusuf, Shahid, 2007. "About urban mega regions : knowns and unknowns," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4252, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4252

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2002. "Growth Is Good for the Poor," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 195-225, September.
    2. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
    3. Adams, Richard H. Jr., 2006. "Remittances and poverty in Ghana," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3838, The World Bank.
    4. Taylor, J. Edward & Mora, Jorge & Adams, Richard H., Jr. & Lopez-Feldman, Alejandro, 2005. "Remittances, Inequality and Poverty: Evidence from Rural Mexico," Working Papers 60287, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
    5. Adams, Richard Jr. & Page, John, 2005. "Do international migration and remittances reduce poverty in developing countries?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1645-1669, October.
    6. Adams, Richard H, Jr, 1989. "Worker Remittances and Inequality in Rural Egypt," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(1), pages 45-71, October.
    7. Stark, Oded & Taylor, J Edward & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1986. "Remittances and Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(383), pages 722-740, September.
    8. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-766, May.
    9. Ernesto López-Córdova, 2005. "Globalization, Migration, and Development: The Role of Mexican Migrant Remittances," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, vol. 0(Fall 2005), pages 217-248, August.
    10. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-563, July.
    11. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    12. Durlauf, Steven N. & Quah, Danny T., 1999. "The new empirics of economic growth," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 235-308 Elsevier.
    13. Rodriguez, Edgard R, 1998. "International Migration and Income Distribution in the Philippines," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(2), pages 329-350, January.
    14. Ziliak, James P, 1997. "Efficient Estimation with Panel Data When Instruments Are Predetermined: An Empirical Comparison of Moment-Condition Estimators," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(4), pages 419-431, October.
    15. Guillermo E. Perry & Omar S. Arias & J. Humberto López & William F. Maloney & Luis Servén, 2006. "Poverty Reduction and Growth : Virtuous and Vicious Circles," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6997.
    16. Adams, Richard H. Jr., 2004. "Remittances and poverty in Guatemala," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3418, The World Bank.
    17. Stephen Knowles, 2005. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Empirical Relationship Reconsidered in the Light of Comparable Data," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(1), pages 135-159.
    18. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    19. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Duflo, Esther, 2003. "Inequality and Growth: What Can the Data Say?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 267-299, September.
    20. Lopez, Humberto & Serven, Luis, 2006. "A normal relationship ? Poverty, growth, and inequality," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3814, The World Bank.
    21. Barham, Bradford & Boucher, Stephen, 1998. "Migration, remittances, and inequality: estimating the net effects of migration on income distribution," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 307-331, April.
    22. Kristin J. Forbes, 2000. "A Reassessment of the Relationship between Inequality and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 869-887, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Harinder Kohli & Ashok Sharma & Anil Sood (ed.), 2011. "Asia 2050: Realizing the Asian Century," Books, Emerging Markets Forum, edition 1, number asia2050, August.

    More about this item


    Transport Economics Policy&Planning; ICT Policy and Strategies; Population Policies; Tertiary Education; Agricultural Knowledge&Information Systems;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4252. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.