Events
Secondary Towns, Jobs and Poverty Reduction: Refocusing the Urbanization Agenda
May 18-19, 2016World Bank, Room I 2-250, I Building, 1850 I St NW, Washington, DC

This conference aims to look into into the profile of a secondary or small town, and to help address the questions in relation to job creation and poverty reduction. What exactly is meant by a secondary town or a small town? How important are these smaller entities in explaining the rate of urbanization, economic growth and poverty reduction? What determines migration to secondary towns compared to large cities? What is the growth potential of secondary towns relative to large cities? Does growth in secondary towns create more jobs, especially for the bottom forty percent of the income distribution, compared to the growth of large cities? What are effective policies to promote secondary town development? What can be learned from the history of urbanization in developed countries with regard to these questions?

Image

Conference jointly organized by Jobs Group, World Bank,

and Cornell University (Professor Ravi Kanbur)

It is now accepted that urbanization is (i) a defining feature of development, (ii) proceeding at a very rapid pace, and (iii) central to poverty reduction strategies. But the urbanization discourse tends to take place at an aggregative level, with the overall national rate of urbanization taking center stage, both as an outcome to be explained, and as a causal variable explaining growth, inequality and poverty. This obscures key analytical features of the urbanization landscape, and often narrows the policy debate simply to the issues relating to large cities. However, there is a growing recognition that the distinction between secondary towns and large cities is a central one for analysis and for policy.

Our central tenet is that the composition of urbanization is at least as important as its aggregate rate, for growth and for distribution. In particular, we wish to explore the key role of secondary towns, urban agglomerations far smaller than the usually focused upon large cities, megacities, or capital cities. What exactly is meant by a secondary town or a small town? How do they differ across a range of socio-economic indicators and in access to public services? How important are these smaller entities in explaining the rate of urbanization, economic growth and poverty reduction? What determines migration to secondary towns compared to large cities? What is the growth potential of secondary towns relative to large cities? How different are their distributional characteristics? Does growth in secondary towns create more jobs, especially for the bottom forty percent of the income distribution, compared to the growth of large cities? How should governments decide on the allocation of public investment across different sized urban agglomerations? What are effective policies to promote secondary town development? What can be learned from the history of urbanization in developed countries with regard to these questions?  These are among the questions which motivated this conference. 

 

Contact: Jennifer Jossell, Jobs Group, World Bank. Email: jjossell@worldbank.org

Last Updated: May 25, 2016

May 18

8:30-9:00        Registration and Coffee

9:00-9:30        Conference Opening

Mary Hallward-Driemeier (Manager, Jobs Group, World Bank); 

9:30-11:00      Session I: Overview, Population and Employment 

Chair: Dino Merotto (Jobs Group, World Bank)

Luc Christiaensen and Ravi Kanbur: “Secondary Towns and Poverty Reduction: Refocusing the Urbanization Agenda.” | Presentation | Paper

Gilles Duranton: “Determinants of City Growth in Colombia.” | Presentation

Kristian Behrens: “"The determinants of co-agglomeration: Evidence from functional employment patterns.” | Presentation

11:00-11:30    Break

11:30-13:00    Session II: Infrastructure, Entrepreneurship and Governance 

Chair: Uwe Deichmann (DECRG, World Bank)

Forhad Shilpi: “Transport Costs, Employment Transition and Urbanization: Evidence from a large transport investment (Jamuna Bridge) in Bangladesh” | Presentation

Mark Partridge: “Does the tide raise all boats: Entrepreneurial response to economic conditions across the urban-rural hierarchy.” | Presentation

Somik Lall: “Chains on the City: Can Global Value Chains Unleash the Demand for Secondary Cities??” | Presentation

13:00-14:00    Lunch

14:00-15:30    Session III:  Africa: Cross-Country Patterns 

Chair: David Newhouse (Poverty Global Practice, World Bank)            

Philipp Heinrigs: “Urbanisation dynamics in West Africa 1950-2010. Africapolis I, 2015 up-date.” | Presentation

Adam Storeygard: “The Heterogeneous Effects of Transportation Investments: Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa.” | Presentation

Andreas Eberhard-Ruiz: “Regional Market Integration and Cities Growth in East Africa: Local but no Regional Effects?” | Presentation

15:30-16:00    Break

16.00-17:30     Session IV:  Asia: China and Latin America

Chair: John Giles (DECRG, World Bank)

Vernon Henderson: “Transport Infrastructure, City Success and Market Access in China: Primate vs secondary cities.” | Presentation

Tom Reardon: “Linking Proximity to Secondary Cities vs Mega Cities, Agricultural Performance, and Nonfarm Employment of Rural Households in China.” | Presentation

Ellis Juan: “Sustainable and Emerging Cities: Lessons from IADB’s Initiative” | Presentation

19:00              Conference Dinner (By Invitation)

May 19

9.00-10:30      Session V: Latin America: Mexico, Brazil and Peru

Chair:  Ian Walker (Jobs Group, World Bank)

Julio Berdegue and Isidro Soloaga: “Secondary Towns, Population and Welfare in Mexico.” | Presentation

Eva-Maria Egger: “Out-Migration from Metropolitan Cities in Brazil.” | Presentation

Zoe-Elena Trohanis: “Fostering a System of Productive and Livable Cities in Peru.” | Presentation

10:30-11:00    Break

11:00-12:00    Session VI: Asia: India 

Chair: Parmesh Shah (Agriculture Global Practice)

John Gibson: “Big or small? Which type of urban growth most matters to poverty reduction in rural India?” | Presentation

Martin Rama: “Job Opportunities along the Rural-Urban Gradation and Female Labor Force Participation in India.” | Presentation

12:00-12:45    Lunch

12:45-14:15    Session VII: Policy Panel  - Secondary Towns, Jobs, and Poverty Reduction 

Chair: Keith Hansen (Vice President Human Development Practice Group)

Panelists:

Ede Jorge Ijjasz-Vasquez (Senior Director, Urban, Rural and Social Development Global Practice, World Bank);

Abha Joshi-Ghani (Acting Vice President and Director, Leadership, Learning and Innovation)

Martin Rama (Chief Economist, South Asia, World Bank);

Pablo Fajnzylber (Practice Manager, Poverty Global Practice, World Bank);

Chris Delgado (Africa Agricultural Policy Unit, Agriculture Global Practice, World Bank);

Ellis Juan (Head, IADB Initiative for Sustainable Emerging Cities)

Vincent Palmade (Lead Economist, Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice, World Bank)

 

14:15-14:30    Coffee Break

14:30-16.30    Session VII          Africa: Country Case Studies

Chair: Holger Kray (Agriculture Practice Group, World Bank)

James Thurlow: “Urbanization and Structural Transformation in Malawi.” | Presentation

Harris Selod: “The Dynamics of Villages, Towns and Cities in a sub-Saharan Africa: the case of Mali.” | Presentation

Joachim Vandercasteelen: “Secondary Cities and Agricultural Transformation: Evidence from Ethiopia.” | Presentation

Bert Ingelaere: "Letting migrants speak for themselves - Voices from Tanzania" | Presentation

16:30-17:00    Conference Closing

Last Updated: May 24, 2016