Globalization and the Rise of Mega-Cities in the Developing World

Posted: 17 Mar 2009

See all articles by Rick van der Ploeg

Rick van der Ploeg

University of Oxford

Steven Poelhekke

VU University Amsterdam; De Nederlandsche Bank

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 2008


Thomas Friedman has argued in The World Is Flat that those who deny rapid globalization will not survive in the global economy. First, we critically discuss Friedman's views and highlight the new globalization driven by outsourcing and vertical specialization. Second, we argue that Friedman pays insufficient attention to the spectacular growth of mega-cities in the developing world. The world is not flat, and the developing world certainly is not. Still, mega-cities tend to become too big. Their growth also goes hand in hand with formation of slums and congestion. We thus argue that there is a role for public policies.

Keywords: globalization, unbundling, offshoring, mega-cities, congestion, public policies, F01, H40, O10, R10

Suggested Citation

van der Ploeg, Frederick and Poelhekke, Steven, Globalization and the Rise of Mega-Cities in the Developing World (November 2008). Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Vol. 1, Issue 3, pp. 477-501, 2008, Available at SSRN: or

Frederick Van der Ploeg (Contact Author)

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Steven Poelhekke

VU University Amsterdam ( email )

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De Nederlandsche Bank ( email )

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