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Empirical Forum of Social Sciences (Session 10): Urbanizing with Equity Consideration: Theory and Application

Lecturer: Prof. Wan Guanghua

Time: 14:00-16:00

Date: 2018-6-11

Venue: Academic Hall, Main Building of Education Museum, Chang'an Campus

Hosted by: Center for Experimental Economics in Education

About the Lecture:

Research has not yet been undertaken on the optimal level of urbanization, notwithstanding the pioneering work on optimal urban concentration. This paper develops two-sector general equilibrium models of urbanization, with and without equity consideration, respectively. It is shown that considering equity will result in a higher level of urbanization than otherwise, when urban inequality is sufficiently small or migration costs are sufficiently large. Such a theoretical prediction is confirmed by empirical modeling results using panel data from China. Provincial governments that paid attention to the inequality issue are found to have higher urbanization levels than those that did not. we explore possible equity consideration-to-urbanization transmission channels, and empirically establish that equity consideration in China (e.g., government initiatives towards combating rural poverty or the urban-rural gap) is positively correlated with road density, which helps reduce migration costs, and with bank lending to the manufacturing sector, which helps enhance the pulling force of migration. Thus, policymakers in the developing world should reverse their prevailing anti-urbanization attitudes and practices that tend to slow down urbanization or restrict rural-to-urban migration.

Profile of the Lecturer:

Professor Guanghua Wan is Director, Institute of World Economy, Fudan University, Part-time Professor in CTBUeditor of Economic Research, World Economic Literature Review, Journal of Asia Pacific Economy, China and the World Economy and Journal of Chinese Economy and Business. Previously, he was Research Director, the Asian Development Bank Institute and Head of Poverty/Inequality Group, Asian Development Bank. Prior to ADB/ADBI, he was a senior economist in the United Nations and taught in a number of Universities in Australia and China.


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