Spatial Development and Local Technology
Developing countries are characterised by large spatial inequalities. In India, for example, poor rural areas coexist with high-tech clusters such as Bangalore. The agglomeration forces underlying the spatial concentration of the IT industry create pockets of high economic growth. Development itself also leads to a reallocation of economic activity across space. As countries grow, and their economies shift from agriculture to manufacturing and later to services, the relative fortunes of urban and rural regions change. It is crucial for policy makers to understand the link between space and growth, not just to foresee the impact of development on spatial inequalities, but also to effectively use policy to affect the pace of growth and its spatial distribution. This research aims to enhance our understanding of the spatial dimension of development in a number of large emerging economies such as China, India and Mexico. These countries are at different stages of their structural transformation, and understanding how growth in the coming decades will impact spatial inequalities is of utmost importance for policy-makers. In addition, we want to understand how policy can be used to improve the growth prospects and its spatial distribution in developing countries. Relevant questions we will address include: What are the optimal urban and regional policies to accelerate growth? What is the spatial impact of the shift from manufacturing to services? How do land use policies and mobility policies affect growth? How will development affect rural-urban migration and the size of cities and clusters? By analysing the impact of different policies, we hope our research will be useful as a tool for policy-makers concerned with these pressing issues.