Are Urban Areas Really Bad Places to Live In? Evidence from Developing Asia

39 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2023

See all articles by Racquel Abacan Claveria

Racquel Abacan Claveria

University of Barcelona

Oscar Claveria

University of Barcelona - Regional Quantitative Analysis Group (AQR-IREA)

Rosina Moreno

University of Barcelona

Abstract

We assemble a rich dataset that maps geocoded microdata on various measures of living standards, point-specific geographical attributes, and remotely-sensed pollution data onto gridded population data to determine whether urbanization yields greater benefits or costs. We focus on developing Asia where the world’s largest proportion of urban population is projected to come from. We find evidence that population density provides greater benefits relative to costs, indicating that urbanization brings net positive gains to the developing world. In particular, our causal estimates show that higher population density leads to greater household wealth, improved hygiene and sanitation, and better access to utilities, health services, clean energy, and private goods and services. On the other hand, our results suggest that density either reduces or does not significantly affect urban costs such as indoor pollution, space congestion, diseases, and crime. The only exception is outdoor pollution which deteriorates with population density.

Keywords: Urban growth, developing countries, Asia, geocoded data, population density

Suggested Citation

Claveria, Racquel Abacan and Claveria, Oscar and Moreno, Rosina, Are Urban Areas Really Bad Places to Live In? Evidence from Developing Asia. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4361720 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4361720

Racquel Abacan Claveria (Contact Author)

University of Barcelona ( email )

Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 585
Barcelona, 08007
Spain

Oscar Claveria

University of Barcelona - Regional Quantitative Analysis Group (AQR-IREA) ( email )

Av. Diagonal 690
Barcelona, Barcelona 08034
Spain

HOME PAGE: http://www.ub.edu/aqr/fitxa-persones_en.php?id=8

Rosina Moreno

University of Barcelona

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