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Has climate change driven urbanization in Africa?

Henderson, J. Vernon, Storeygard, Adam and Deichmann, Uwe (2017) Has climate change driven urbanization in Africa? Journal of Development Economics, 124. pp. 60-82. ISSN 0304-3878

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2016.09.001

Abstract

This paper documents strong but differentiated links between climate and urbanization in large panels of districts and cities in Sub-Saharan Africa, which has dried substantially in the past fifty years. The key dimension of heterogeneity is whether cities are likely to have manufacturing for export outside their regions, as opposed to being exclusively market towns providing local services to agricultural hinterlands. In regions where cities are likely to be manufacturing centers (25% of our sample), drier conditions increase urbanization and total urban incomes. There, urban migration provides an "escape" from negative agricultural moisture shocks. However, in the remaining market towns (75% of our sample), cities just service agriculture. Reduced farm incomes from negative shocks reduce demand for urban services and derived demand for urban labor. There, drying has little impact on urbanization or total urban incomes. Lack of structural transformation in Africa inhibits a better response to climate change.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-develo...
Additional Information: © 2016 Elsevier B.V
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
JEL classification: O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O10 - General
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O5 - Economywide Country Studies > O55 - Africa
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q5 - Environmental Economics > Q54 - Climate; Natural Disasters
R - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics > R1 - General Regional Economics > R12 - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade
Sets: Departments > Geography and Environment
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2016 09:54
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2020 06:19
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/67654

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