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Is there a metropolitan bias ? the inverse relationship between poverty and city size in selected developing countries

Author

Listed:
  • Ferre, Celine
  • Ferreira, Francisco H.G.
  • Lanjouw, Peter

Abstract

This paper provides evidence from eight developing countries of an inverse relationship between poverty and city size. Poverty is both more widespread and deeper in very small and small towns than in large or very large cities. This basic pattern is generally robust to choice of poverty line. The paper shows, further, that for all eight countries, a majority of the urban poor live in medium, small, or very small towns. Moreover, it is shown that the greater incidence and severity of consumption poverty in smaller towns is generally compounded by similarly greater deprivation in terms of access to basic infrastructure services, such as electricity, heating gas, sewerage, and solid waste disposal. The authors illustrate for one country -- Morocco -- that inequality within large cities is not driven by a severe dichotomy between slum dwellers and others. The notion of a single cleavage between slum residents and well-to-do burghers as the driver of urban inequality in the developing world thus appears to be unsubstantiated -- at least in this case. Robustness checks are performed to assess whether the findings in the paper are driven by price variation across city-size categories, by the reliance on an income-based concept of well-being, and by the application of small-area estimation techniques for estimating poverty rates at the town and city level.

Suggested Citation

  • Ferre, Celine & Ferreira, Francisco H.G. & Lanjouw, Peter, 2010. "Is there a metropolitan bias ? the inverse relationship between poverty and city size in selected developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5508, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5508
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Lanjouw, Peter & Neri, Marcelo Côrtes, 2003. "A Robust Poverty Profile for Brazil Using Multiple Data Sources," Revista Brasileira de Economia - RBE, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), vol. 57(1), January.
    2. Chris Elbers & Jean O. Lanjouw & Peter Lanjouw, 2003. "Micro--Level Estimation of Poverty and Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 355-364, January.
    3. Martin Ravallion & Shaohua Chen & Prem Sangraula, 2007. "New Evidence on the Urbanization of Global Poverty," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 33(4), pages 667-701.
    4. Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2005. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 963-1002.
    5. Demombynes, Gabriel & Ozler, Berk, 2005. "Crime and local inequality in South Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 265-292, April.
    6. Tomoki Fujii, 2010. "Micro-Level Estimation of Child Undernutrition Indicators in Cambodia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 24(3), pages 520-553, December.
    7. Demombynes, Gabriel & Elbers, Chris & Lanjouw, Jean O. & Lanjouw, Peter, 2007. "How good a map ? Putting small area estimation to the test," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4155, The World Bank.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Christiaensen,Luc & Kanbur,Ravi & Christiaensen,Luc & Kanbur,Ravi, 2016. "Secondary towns and poverty reduction : refocusing the urbanization agenda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7895, The World Bank.
    2. Luc Christiaensen & Joachim De Weerdt & Ravi Kanbur, 2017. "Cities, towns, and poverty: Migration equilibrium and income distribution in a Todaro-type model with multiple destinations," Working Papers 434, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    3. repec:taf:rjapxx:v:17:y:2012:i:1:p:151-170 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:5:p:1452-:d:144948 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Aktoty Aitzhanova & Shigeo Katsu & Johannes F. Linn & Vladislav Yezhov (ed.), 2014. "Kazakhstan 2050: Toward a Modern Society for All," Books, Emerging Markets Forum, edition 1, number kazakh2050, August.
    6. Mohajan, Haradhan, 2015. "Sustainable Development Policy of Global Economy," MPRA Paper 82815, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 30 Mar 2015.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Rural Poverty Reduction; Subnational Economic Development; City Development Strategies; Regional Economic Development;

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R20 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - General

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