Megacities Vs Global Cities: Development and Institutions
In a preceding paper (Louvain Economic Review), we define city globalization as the process by which a city gains the ability to coordinate complex economic activities at a global scale. The resulting â€œglobal citiesâ€ carry out the functions of design, decision and control in the global economy. However, the logic of city globalization is not universal. It does not apply equally to different regions in the world. A large part of the less developed countries (LDCs) remains at the margin, despite the dramatic growth of its major cities, especially the â€œlarge urban agglomerationsâ€ and the â€œmegacitiesâ€ as defined by the United Nations. In 2003, 15 of the worldâ€™s 20 megacities were located in LDCs. We stress the differentiation of the city globalization process and the possible divergence between city size and city globalization, i.e. between global cities and mega-cities. We propose some avenues for explaining this divergence. We use both statistical and theoretical arguments based on the economic theory of agglomeration (Fujita and Thisse), the theory of world cities (Friedman, Sassen, Taylor and GaWC) and the theory of institutions (North). In a large part of the literature, it is considered that a large city can more probably become a global city than a smaller one, because city size favors the diversity of activities, a high level of human capital, of communication equipments, and ability to benefit from increasing returns. However, this logic is not universal. City size is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition of city globalization. It appears that the level of development of the country gives only a partial explanation of the divergence. The ability to coordinate complex activities at a global scale, which characterize global cities, depends closely on the nature and the quality of institutions. The bad quality of governance, the low level of social connectivity (Sassen), the high level of corruption, are important obstacles to city globalization in LDCs. The existence of an important informal sector can explain that cities in LDCs beyond the size compatible with their economic resources and with their ability to generate externalities favorable to city globalization
|Date of creation:||Aug 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.ersa.org
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ades, Alberto F & Glaeser, Edward L, 1995.
"Trade and Circuses: Explaining Urban Giants,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 110(1), pages 195-227, February.
- Glaeser, E.L. & Ades, A.F., 1993. "Trade and Circuses: Explaining Urban Giants," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1646, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Alberto F. Ades & Edward L. Glaeser, 1994. "Trade and Circuses: Explaining Urban Giants," NBER Working Papers 4715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Diego Puga, 1996.
"Urbanisation patterns: European vs less developed countries,"
LSE Research Online Documents on Economics
20656, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Diego Puga, 1996. "Urbanisation Patterns: European vs Less Developed Countries," CEP Discussion Papers dp0305, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Henderson, Vernon & Mitra, Arindam, 1996. "The new urban landscape: Developers and edge cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 613-643, December.
- Fujita, Masahisa & Thisse, Jacques-François, 1996.
"Economics of Agglomeration,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
1344, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Fujita, Masahisa & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1996. "Economics of Agglomeration," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 339-378, December.
- Krugman, Paul & Elizondo, Raul Livas, 1996.
"Trade policy and the Third World metropolis,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 137-150, April.
- Masahisa Fujita & Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561476, June.
- J.V. Henderson, 1972.
"The Sizes and Types of Cities,"
75, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- repec:cup:cbooks:9780521641906 is not listed on IDEAS
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa06p894. 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: (Gunther Maier)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.