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Measuring urban economic density

Henderson, J. Vernon, Nigmatulina, Dzhamilya and Kriticos, Sebastian (2019) Measuring urban economic density. Journal of Urban Economics. ISSN 0094-1190

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jue.2019.103188

Abstract

At the heart of urban economics are agglomeration economies, which drive the existence and extent of cities. This paper estimates urban agglomeration effects, exploring simple and very nuanced measures of economic density to explain household income and wage differences across cities in six Sub-Saharan African countries. A key aspect of the work is that we define cities consistently across space based on fine scale density measures, in order to gauge the economic extent of the city. The evidence suggests that more nuanced measures of density, which attempt to capture within-city differences in the extent of clustering, do no better than a simple density measure in explaining income differences across cities. However, total population is a poor measure. We find large wage gains to being in denser cities in Sub-Saharan Africa, generally larger than such estimates for other parts of the world. We also find extraordinary household income gains to density that are far greater than wage ones. Such gains help explain the pull forces driving rapid urbanization in the region.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2019 Elsevier Inc.
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Centre for Economic Performance
Spatial Economics Research Centre
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD100 Land Use
JEL classification: J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J2 - Time Allocation, Work Behavior, and Employment Determination and Creation; Human Capital; Retirement > J24 - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J3 - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs > J31 - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials by Skill, Training, Occupation, etc.
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O15 - Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O5 - Economywide Country Studies > O55 - Africa
R - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics > R1 - General Regional Economics > R10 - General
R - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics > R3 - Production Analysis and Firm Location > R30 - General
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2019 11:48
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2020 00:17
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/101453

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