Urbanization with and without industrialization

Posted by D. Gollin, R. Jedwab, and D. Vollrath on January 01, 2016 · 1 min read

Abstract: We document a strong positive relationship between natural resource exports and urbanization in a sample of 116 developing nations over the period 1960–2010. In countries that are heavily dependent on resource exports, urbanization appears to be concentrated in consumption cities'' where the economies consist primarily of non-tradable services. These contrast withproduction cities’’ that are more dependent on manufacturing in countries that have industrialized. Consumption cities in resource exporters also appear to perform worse along several measures of welfare. We offer a simple model of structural change that can explain the observed patterns of urbanization and the associated differences in city types. We note that although the development literature often assumes that urbanization is synonymous with industrialization, patterns differ markedly across developing countries. We discuss several possible implications for policy.