Our Work

The Urbanisation in Developing Countries programme produces academic papers, databases, background reports and presentations. With our work we aim to contribute to knowledge creation around the causes and consequences of differing patterns of urban growth.
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Location, Search Costs and Youth Unemployment: Experimental evidence from transport subsidies in Addis Ababa

15th Nov 2017, Submitted Paper

Author: Simon Franklin

This paper examines how labour market outcomes are affected by search costs. It looks at the effects of randomly assigend transport subsidies on jobs search intensity and the likelihood of finding good employment.

Economic Journal, R&R.

To Build Outward or Upward: The Spatial Pattern of Urban Land Development in China

12th Dec 2016, Working Paper

Authors: Zhi Wang, Qinghua Zhang, Li-An Zhou

This paper attempts to understand the patterns of urban land development in China from the political economy perspective. Our study is motivated by an interesting pattern observed in the past decade that in the initially more densely populated cities the urban land development was expanded more outwardly with a relatively low use intensity.

Anonymity or Distance? Experimental evidence on the obstacles that young people face in the labour market

4th Nov 2016, Working Paper

Authors: Girum Abebe, Stefano Caria, Marcel Fafchamps, Paolo Falco, Simon Franklin, Simon Quinn

We conduct a randomised evaluation of two programmes designed to lower spatial and informational barriers to job search among 4,000 young Ethiopians.

Urban infrastructure for development

3rd Oct 2016, Published Paper

Authors: Paul Collier, Tony Venables

The paper discusses the importance of infrastructure investment in growing cities, arguing that, in addition to its direct benefits, infrastructure plays crucial roles in enabling density and coordinating private investment decisions. Many cities have failed to invest in sufficient infrastructure due to inadequate financing tools (in particular failure to capture benefits through land value taxation) and fragmented urban authority.

Oxford Review of Economic Policy 32(3):391-409

Resetting the Urban Network: 117-2012

5th Aug 2016, Submitted Paper

Authors: Guy Michaels, Ferdinand Rauch

This paper examines the effects on town locations of the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, which temporarily ended urbanization in Britain, but not in France.

Economic Journal, forthcoming

The Heterogeneous Effects of Transportation Investments: Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa 1960-2010

20th Jul 2016, Working Paper

Authors: Remi Jedwab, Adam Storeygard

This study looks how the effects of transportation investments vary as a function of the characteristics of the places they connect.

Does Investment in National Highways Help or Hurt Hinterland City Growth?

6th Jun 2016, Working Paper

Authors: Nathaniel Baum-Snow, Loren Brandt, Vernon Henderson, Matthew A. Turner, Qinghua Zhang

This paper investigates the effects of the construction of the national highway system in China on local economic outcomes.

Roads, Railways and Decentralization of Chinese Cities

2nd May 2016, Published Paper

Authors: Nathaniel Baum-Snow, Loren Brandt, Vernon Henderson, Matthew A. Turner, Qinghua Zhang

This paper investigates how the extent and configuration of Chinese road and railroad networks has shaped the spatial transformation and degree of compactness of Chinese urban regions in the last 20 years, a period in which center cities were experiencing strong population inflows but relative losses of industry to the urban periphery.

The Review of Economics and Statistics 2017, 99, 3,  435–4483

Farther on down the Road: Transport Costs, Trade and Urban Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa

23rd Apr 2016, Published Paper

Author: Adam Storeygard

This article investigates the role of intercity transport costs in determining the income of sub-Saharan African cities.

Subways and Urban Growth: Evidence from Earth

12th Apr 2016, Working Paper

Authors: Marco Gonzalez-Navarro, Matthew A. Turner

This paper investigates the relationship between the extent of a city’s subway network, its population and its spatial configuration.

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