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Urbanisation and structural transformation

Michaels, Guy and Rauch, Ferdinand and Redding, Stephen (2008) Urbanisation and structural transformation. CEP Discussion Papers, 892. Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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This paper presents new evidence on urbanization using sub-county data for the United States from 1880-2000 and municipality data for Brazil from 1970-2000. We show that the two central stylized features of population growth for cities – Gibrat’s Law and a stable population distribution - are strongly rejected when both rural and urban areas are considered. Population growth exhibits a U-shaped relationship with initial population density, and only becomes uncorrelated with initial population density at the high densities found in predominantly urban areas. We provide evidence that the explanation for these patterns lies in different employment growth dynamics in the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors and the process of structural transformation away from the agricultural sector.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2008 the authors
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
JEL classification: R - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics > R1 - General Regional Economics > R11 - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, and Changes
R - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics > R5 - Regional Government Analysis > R51 - Finance in Urban and Rural Economies
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Departments > Economics
Series: Working Papers > CEP Discussion Papers
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2009 11:48
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 15:24

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