Poverty Reduction During the Rural-Urban Transformation: The Role of the Missing Middle

43 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

Date Written: May 1, 2013

Abstract

As countries develop, they restructure away from agriculture and urbanize. But structural transformation and urbanization patterns differ substantially, with some countries fostering migration out of agriculture into rural off farm activities and secondary towns, and others undergoing rapid agglomeration in mega cities. Using cross-country panel data for developing countries spanning 1980-2004, the analysis in this paper finds that migration out of agriculture into the missing middle (the rural nonfarm economy and secondary towns) yields more inclusive growth patterns and faster poverty reduction than agglomeration in mega cities. This suggests that patterns of urbanization deserve much more attention when striving for faster poverty reduction.

Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction, Achieving Shared Growth, Regional Economic Development, ICT Applications

Suggested Citation

Christiaensen, Luc and Todo, Yasuyuki, Poverty Reduction During the Rural-Urban Transformation: The Role of the Missing Middle (May 1, 2013). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 6445. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2265756

Luc Christiaensen (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Yasuyuki Todo

Waseda University ( email )

1-104 Totsukamachi, Shinjuku-ku
tokyo, 169-8050
Japan

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