The Primacy of Geography in Afghanistan: A Look at the Causes of Urbanization Across Afghan Provinces
Posted: 19 Jun 2012
Date Written: June 19, 2012
To test the conventional wisdom that Afghanistan’s lack of development was due to ethnic diversity, institutions or conflict, I examine potential determinants of the urbanization rate and urbanization growth over the past few decades. Specifically, this paper examines new provincial data on urbanization, geography, ethnic diversity, institutions, neighbor country market potential and conflict. I find evidence against the importance of ethnic diversity, institutions or conflict and instead find evidence for geography and neighbor country market potential. The results imply that Afghanistan’s urbanization could be improved by increasing its transport infrastructure and thereby improving market access. Theories of the effect of ethnic diversity, institutions and conflict on development should be reconsidered for Afghanistan.
Keywords: Afghanistan, Urbanization, Geography, Institutions, Conflict
JEL Classification: O10, O18, O53
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation