The Primacy of Geography in Afghanistan: A Look at the Causes of Urbanization Across Afghan Provinces

Posted: 19 Jun 2012

See all articles by Wesley Oliphant

Wesley Oliphant

California State University, Fullerton - Department of Economics ; Chapman University

Date Written: June 19, 2012

Abstract

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

Oliphant, Wesley, The Primacy of Geography in Afghanistan: A Look at the Causes of Urbanization Across Afghan Provinces (June 19, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2087812

Wesley Oliphant (Contact Author)

California State University, Fullerton - Department of Economics ( email )

Fullerton, CA 92834
United States

Chapman University ( email )

Orange, CA
United States

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