Place is one of the most important determinants of welfare. Simply by moving from the countryside to the city, or from a poor to a rich country, a person can greatly increase returns to labor or access to services. Yet, the study of the role of place in development was long neglected in mainstream economics. This changed significantly over the last 15 years or so and in 2009 spatial issues in development became the topic of the World Development Report Reshaping Economic Geography.
In this Policy Research Talk, Uwe Deichmann will revisit some of the themes covered in the 2009 WDR and discuss recent research and policy implications in two areas at the core of economic geography: What drives urbanization and why do we see different urbanization patterns across world regions? And what role does transport infrastructure play for the spatial organization of economic activity and consequently for economic growth?
Uwe Deichmann is an economic geographer in the World Bank’s Development Research Group. His research interests are in the geographic aspects of development. His recent work has included issues of urban development, the role of infrastructure in promoting regional growth, and the impacts of natural hazards and global change on economic development. He has been a principal author of the World Development Report 2009 “Reshaping Economic Geography.” Prior to joining the World Bank he worked for the UN Environment Program and the UN Statistics Division. He holds a Ph.D. in Economic Geography and Regional Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Asli Demirgüç-Kunt is the Director of Research in the World Bank. After joining the Bank in 1989 as a Young Economist, she has held different positions, including Director of Development Policy, Chief Economist of Financial and Private Sector Development Network, and Senior Research Manager, doing research and advising on financial sector and private sector development issues.
Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez is the Senior Director for the World Bank Group’s Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice. In this position, Mr. Ijjasz-Vasquez leads a team of over 600 technical experts deployed across the world, leveraging global knowledge and collaborating with partners to help tackle the world’s most complex development challenges in: social inclusion and sustainability; mainstreaming resilience in all dimensions of development; territorial and rural development; and urban planning, services and institutions