Why Secondary Towns Can Be Important for Poverty Reduction - A Migrant's Perspective

31 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2017

See all articles by Bert Ingelaere

Bert Ingelaere

University of Antwerp

Luc Christiaensen

World Bank

Joachim De Weerdt

University of Antwerp - Institute of Development Policy and Management; KU Leuven - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (LICOS); Economic Development Initiatives (EDI)

Ravi Kanbur

Cornell University; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2017

Abstract

This paper develops the concept of "action space" as the range of possible destinations a migrant can realistically move to at a given point in time and, intimately linked to this, the set of possible livelihoods at destination. We show how this space expands and contracts over time through cumulative causation. Such a dynamic framework allows us to appreciate the role of secondary towns in rural-urban migration and poverty reduction. Secondary towns occupy a unique middle ground between semi-subsistence agriculture and the capitalistic city; between what is close-by and familiar and what is much further away and unknown. By opening up the horizons of the (poorer) rural population and facilitating navigation of the non-farm economy, secondary towns allow a broader base of the poor population to become physically, economically and socially mobile. Secondary towns therefore have great potential as vehicles for inclusive growth and poverty reduction in urbanizing developing countries. These are the insights emerging from in-depth life history accounts of 75 purposively selected rural-urban migrants from rural Kagera, in Tanzania.

Suggested Citation

Ingelaere, Bert and Christiaensen, Luc and De Weerdt, Joachim and Kanbur, Ravi, Why Secondary Towns Can Be Important for Poverty Reduction - A Migrant's Perspective (July 2017). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP12193. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3016779

Bert Ingelaere

University of Antwerp ( email )

Prinsstraat 13
Antwerp, Antwerp 2000
Belgium

Luc Christiaensen (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

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

Joachim De Weerdt

University of Antwerp - Institute of Development Policy and Management ( email )

City campus building S
Lange Sint Annastraat 7
Antwerp, 2000
Belgium

KU Leuven - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (LICOS) ( email )

Waaistraat 6 - box 3511
Leuven, 3000
Belgium

Economic Development Initiatives (EDI) ( email )

P.O. Box 393
Bukoba
Tanzania

HOME PAGE: http://www.edi-africa.com

Ravi Kanbur

Cornell University ( email )

301-J Warren Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
607-255-7966 (Phone)
607-255-9984 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.kanbur.dyson.cornell.edu

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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