— Why is productivity higher in cities? — Does urbanization cause growth or does growth cause urbanization?— Do countries achieve rapid growth or high incomes without urbanization?— How can policy makers reap the benefits of urbanization without paying too high a cost?— Does supporting urbanization imply neglecting rural areas?— Why do so few governments welcome urbanization?— What should governments do to improve housing conditions in cities as they urbanize?— Are innovations in housing finance a blessing or a curse for developing countries?— How will governments finance the trillions of dollars of infrastructure spending needed for cities in developing countries?
First in a series of thematic volumes, this book was prepared for the Commission on Growth and Development to evaluate the state of knowledge of the relationship between urbanization and economic growth. It does not pretend to provide all the answers, but it does identify insights and policy levers to help countries make urbanization work as part of a national growth strategy. It examines a variety of topics: the relevance and policy implications of recent advances in urban economics for developing countries, the role of economic geography in global economic trends and trade patterns, the impacts of urbanization on spatial inequality within countries, and alternative approaches to financing the substantial infrastructure investments required in developing-country cities.
Written by prominent academics in their fields, Urbanization and Growth seeks to create a better understanding of the role of urbanization in growth and to inform policy makers tackling the formidable challenges it poses.
Michael Spence is Senior Fellow, the Hoover Institution, and Philip H. Knight Professor Emeritus of Management, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. He was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2001. Mr. Spence was Philip H. Knight Professor and Dean of the Stanford Business School from 1990 to 1999. Professor Spence is the Chair of the Commission on Growth and Development.
Patricia Clarke Annez is Urban Advisor at the World Bank. With over 20 years of experience there, she has worked in Operations and Finance as well as the central Urban Unit, where she works on strategy and project development and analysis of performance of Bank urban projects.
Robert M. Buckley is a Managing Director at the Rockefeller Foundation, where he helps develop the Foundation’s approach to addressing urbanization issues in developing countries. Prior to Rockefeller, he served as an Advisor at the World Bank, where he led the development of new approaches to understanding the ramifications of rapidly increasing urbanization in the developing world.