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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Building the City: Urban Transition and Institutional Frictions

27th Nov 2017, Working Paper

Authors: Tony Venables, Vernon Henderson, Tanner Regan

This paper models a growing city, and focuses on investment decisions and consequent patterns of land use and urban density.

The Development of the African System of Cities

15th Nov 2017, Submitted Paper

Authors: Vernon Henderson, Sebastian Kriticos

Annual Review of Economics (Forthcoming)

The Global Spatial Distribution of Economic Activity: Nature, History, and the Role of Trade

14th Mar 2017, Submitted Paper

Authors: Vernon Henderson, Tim Squires, Adam Storeygard, David Weil

This paper studies the distribution of economic activity, as proxied by lights at night, across 250,000 grid cells of average area 560 square kilometers.

Quarterly Journal of Economics (forthcoming)

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.

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.

Political favoritism in China’s capital markets and its effect on city sizes

12th Nov 2015, Published Paper

Authors: Wei Cai, Vernon Henderson, Ying Chen

This paper examines political favoritism of cites in national capital markets and the effect of that favoritism on city sizes.

Journal of Urban Economics, 2017, 98, 69-87

Transforming Dar es Salaam into a City that Works

18th Oct 2015, Working Paper

Authors: Paul Collier, Patricia Jones

Tanzania is urbanizing fast but it is still only about one-third of the way through its urbanisation process. This gives policy makers a window of opportunity to design new policies which avoid the mistakes of the past. From global experience, we know that urbanisation can bring large benefits: by enabling firms to reap the productivity gains of scale and specialization it makes ordinary workers better off. Cities perform this miracle of productivity by providing good connectivity between firms and households. This paper investigates what Dar es Salaam can do to reap the benefits of urbanisation an transform into a well-functioning city.

Urbanisation, Growth, and Development: Evidence from India

13th Apr 2015, Working Paper

Author: Jonathan Colmer

This paper examines how spatial distribution of economic activity evolve as countries grow and develop, and what role urbanisation plays in this process.

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