Is Living in African Cities Expensive?

27 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

Date Written: April 14, 2016

Abstract

Although several studies have examined why overall price levels are higher in richer countries, little is known about whether there is a similar relationship at the urban and city level across countries. This paper compares the price levels of cities in Sub-Saharan Africa with those of other regions by analyzing price information collected for the 2011 round of the International Comparison Program. Readjusting the calculated price levels from national to urban levels, the analysis indicates that African cities are relatively more expensive, despite having lower income levels. The price levels of goods and services consumed by households are up to 31percent higher in Sub-Saharan Africa than in other low- and middle-income countries, relative to their income levels. Food and non-alcoholic beverages are especially expensive, with price levels around 35 percent higher than in other countries. The paper also analyzes price information collected by the Economist Intelligence Unit's Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, and obtains a similar result, indicating higher prices of goods and services in African cities.

Keywords: Food Security, Urban Partnerships & Poverty, Urban Poverty, Peri-Urban Communities, Nutrition, Economic Services to the Urban Poor

Suggested Citation

Nakamura, Shohei and Harati, Rawaa and Lall, Somik V. and Dikhanov, Yuri and Hamadeh, Nada and Oliver, William and Rissanen, Marko and Yamanaka, Mizuki, Is Living in African Cities Expensive? (April 14, 2016). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 7641, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2765252

Shohei Nakamura (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Rawaa Harati

World Bank

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Somik V. Lall

World Bank ( email )

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

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/slall

Yuri Dikhanov

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Nada Hamadeh

World Bank

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

William Oliver

World Bank

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Marko Rissanen

World Bank

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Mizuki Yamanaka

World Bank

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
56
Abstract Views
428
rank
412,602
PlumX Metrics