Governance and the City: An Empirical Exploration Into Global Determinants of Urban Performance

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World Bank, World Bank Institute, 2005 - Globalization - 40 pages
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The authors contribute to the field of urban governance and globalization through an empirically-based exploration of determinants of the performance of cities. They construct a preliminary worldwide database for cities, containing variables and indicators of globalization (at the country and city level), city governance, city performance (access and quality of infrastructure service delivery), as well as other relevant city characteristics. This city database, encompassing hundreds of cities worldwide, integrates existing data with new data gathered for this research. The findings suggest that good governance and globalization (at both the country and city level) do matter for city-level performance in terms of access and quality of delivery of infrastructure services. The authors also find that globalization and good city governance are significantly related with each other. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that there are complex interactions between technology choices, governance, and city performance, as well as evidence of a nonlinear (U-shaped) relationship between city size and performance, challenging the view that very large cities necessarily exhibit lower performance and pointing instead to potential agglomeration economies. The framework also suggests a way of bridging two seemingly competing strands of the literature, namely viewing the city as a place or as an outcome. The authors conclude by pointing to the need for expanding the database and the econometric framework, and suggest research directions and policy implications emerging from this initial investigation on governance and the city"--Cover verso.

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