fely chapter 8 econ dev

fely chapter 8 econ dev - Economic Development Chapter 8...

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Unformatted text preview: Economic Development Chapter 8 Urbanization and Rural-Urban Migration: Theory and Policy Urbanization: Trends and Projections The positive association between urbanization and per capita income is one of the most obvious and striking stylized facts of the development process. Generally, the more developed the country, measured by per capita income, the greater the share of population living in urban areas. Urbanization versus GNP per capita: the highest income countries, such as Denmark, are also among the most urbanized, while the very poorest countries, such as Rwanda, are among the least urbanized. At the same time, while individual countries become more urbanized as they develop, todays poorest countries are far more urbanized than todays developed countries were then they were at a comparable level of development, as measured by income per capita; and LDCs are urbanizing at a faster rate. Along with the rapid spread of urbanization and the urban bias in development strategies, has come the prolific growth of huge slums and shantytowns. Although population growth and accelerated rural to urban migration, are chiefly responsible for the explosion in urban shantytowns, part of the blame rests with LDC governments. Their misguided policies regarding urban planning and outmoded building codes often means that 80% to 90% of new urban housing is illegal. For example, colonial-era building codes in Nairobi, Kenya, make it impossible to build an official house for less than $3,500. The law also requires every dwelling to be accessible by car. As a result, two-thirds of Nairobis land is occupied by 10% of the population, while 100,000 slum dwellings cannot legally be improved. Similarly, in Manila, Philippines, 88% of the population is too poor to be able to buy or rent an officially legal house. Given the widespread dissatisfaction with rapid urban growth in developing countries, the critical issue that needs to be addressed is the extent to which national governments can formulate development policies that can have a definite impact on trends in urban growth. It is clear that the unquestioning pursuit of the orthodox (traditional) development strategies of the past decades, with their emphasis on industrial modernization, technological sophistication, and metropolitan growth, created a substantial geographic imbalance in economic opportunities and contributed significantly to the steadily accelerating influx of rural migrants into urban areas. Is it possible and or even desirable now to attempt to reverse these trends by pursuing a different set of population and development policies? With birth rates beginning to decline in many LDCs the serious and worsening problem of rapid urban growth and accelerated rural-migration will undoubtedly be one of the most important development and demographic issues of the early twenty-first century....
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This note was uploaded on 02/12/2012 for the course ECON 101 taught by Professor Mr.you during the Spring '09 term at SUNY Farmingdale.

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fely chapter 8 econ dev - Economic Development Chapter 8...

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