Conferences and Workshops

The 2009 World Development Report: Reshaping Economic Geography

Date : 6/8/2009

Speakers : Uwe Deichmann, World Bank; Indermit Gill, World Bank; and Chorching Goh, World Bank

Production concentrates in big cities, leading provinces and wealthy nations. For example, Cairo produces more than half of Egypt’s GDP, using just 0.5 percent of its area. The message of this report was that economic growth would be unbalanced. To try to spread it out is to discourage it—to fight prosperity, not poverty. But development can still be inclusive, even for people who start their lives distant from dense economic activity. For growth to be rapid and shared, governments must promote economic integration in the policy debates on urbanization, territorial development and regional integration. The report reframed these debates to include all the instruments of integration—spatially blind institutions, spatially connective infrastructure, and spatially targeted interventions. By calibrating the blend of these instruments, countries can reshape their economic geography. If they do this well, their growth will still be unbalanced, but their development will be inclusive.