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2. Why Location Matters
Pages 29-74

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From page 29...
... Health, fertility, and human capital investment decisions are influenced by multiple social contexts; so, too, are decisions about job search, migration, and labor force participation. The panel regards these demographic decisions as being inherently multilevel in nature, and in considering the individual-to-group links, emphasizes the roles of urban social interaction, feedback, and diffusion.
From page 30...
... Neighborhood effects are another, as are the conceptual distinctions between neighborhood and social network. The Taichung experiment revealed urban/rural linkages that were stronger than expected, thus calling into question the sociological meaning of the city boundaries.
From page 31...
... As used here, place is a spatial concept, whereas community is a social concept, having to do with individual and group identities, senses of belonging, and the presumption of mutual interests and shared values.2 A neighborhood might be defined as a type of community composed of spatially proximate individuals. When the discussion focuses on social capital, social learning, and other mechanisms through which neighborhood effects can be expressed, this community aspect of neighborhoods comes to the fore.
From page 32...
... Fischer (1982: 264) puts it succinctly: "Urbanism does not seem to weaken community, but it does seem to help sustain a plurality of communities." If the social networks of urban residents contain sufficient links to other spatially proximate individuals, a basis exists for thinking of geographic neighborhoods as communities.
From page 33...
... This social construction of neighborhood is not a merely a subjective matter it may well have an influence on the use of public services and, through services, on demographic behavior. For instance, neighborhood residents may view a nearby health or family planning clinic as being inaccessible if it happens to be situated beyond a socially defined neighborhood boundary.
From page 34...
... Because so much of family demographic behavior depends on the information and resources held by women, differences in the composition of their personal networks can have important demographic implications. Many activities undertaken by governments and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)
From page 35...
... To the panel's knowledge, none of these theories has been properly tested in low-income countries, but we comment on the features that would appear most salient.5 Social learning via social networks Theories of social learning draw attention to the information that is exchanged through peer groups and personal social networks. Such individual-to-group linkages are a prominent feature of models in many social science disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, economics, cognitive psychology, and the communication sciences.
From page 36...
... In epidemiology it is understood that, with other things being equal, the risks of disease transmission among spatially proximate urban populations must be higher than the risks facing dispersed rural populations. Clustering obviously affects the likelihood of person-to-person 7 Mitchell (1969)
From page 37...
... , the sanitary practices of one group can generate externalities that affect the health of another. As a result, urban populations start from a position of health disadvantage relative to rural populations.
From page 38...
... on how disaffected urban groups may constitute a "perverse" form of local social capital. The types of social comparison addressed in these theories have not been explored in much demographic research.
From page 39...
... But as Sastry notes, even for Brazil the literature offers mixed results, and there is reason to think that the substitution and complementarily effects must be highly context-specific, depending on policies, prices, and levels of development. The theories outlined above are concerned with social interactions and ordering, but the ways in which local space is physically ordered may also have demographic implications.
From page 40...
... Social Capital The preceding discussion has emphasized the role of social networks in neighborhood effects, but certain features of these effects are perhaps more readily seen from a social capital perspective. The distinctions between social networks and social capital are imprecise (Lin, 1999)
From page 41...
... Social capital is thought to be strengthened by the "intergenerational closure" of individual social networks (Coleman, 1988; Gephart, 1997; Sampson, 2002~. Network closure occurs when parents come to know the parents of their children's friends; this personal link encourages adult monitoring and
From page 42...
... writes in a similar vein on the dynamic feedbacks between crime rates and social capital, whereby crime erodes the bonds of community, and weakening community institutions allow for the further penetration of crime. Some demographic processes such as residential mobility can undermine attachments to the local community and make it more difficult to preserve local social capital (Chaskin, 1994; Sampson and Morenoff, 1997; Sampson, 2002~.
From page 43...
... Does this spatial patterning of poverty have implications for demographic behavior? Spatial segregation can have the effect of enforcing homogeneity in local social network ties and resources, suppressing some of the diversity in social relations that can benefit the poor.
From page 44...
... ~? t'8~017 10w Mm Lt.~.~ _ 'Jury tow ~ I ["Fuji a\,`311~0 FIGURE 2-1 Mexico City metropolitan area: socioeconomic levels by geostatistical areas, 1990.
From page 45...
... Poor women may look locally for work because long commutes are incompatible with the child-care options they can afford; with spatially restricted social networks, they are unlikely to hear of better jobs that might be available elsewhere32 In addition to constraining employment information, the spatial concentration of the poor may heighten their exposure to external, macroeconomic shocks. Consider a shock that initially reduces each poor family's income by a given percentage.
From page 46...
... As we have discussed, spatially dispersed social and economic ties could be as important to information flow, access to services, and social comparisons as spatially localized ties. Proximity may well facilitate the formation of social network ties and lessen the costs of maintaining such ties, but proximity certainly does not guarantee that social linkages will be formed.~4 Nor does spatial proximity necessarily imply socioeconomic homogeneity.
From page 47...
... This tale illustrates several of the distinctive features of urban social interactions. Externalities were at the core of the urban public health problem the communicable diseases to which urban populations were vulnerable because of their proximity and dependence on common resources.
From page 48...
... SPARC also provides its local allies with a buffer that prevents the agendas of the funders from dominating the concerns of the poor. The question of how resources can be drawn into poor communities can be addressed in terms of the "bridging" role of social networks and local social capital in developing countries.
From page 49...
... Summary This section has described features of local social and spatial environments that could influence demographic behavior. In each of the areas mentioned, neighborhoods provide the staging grounds upon which social interactions take place; personal networks provide the circuits along which externalities and information flow; and, together with networks, associations and institutions provide the base of local social capital.
From page 50...
... In its present form, the research literature can offer little more to those interested in poor countries than intriguing analogies and potentially fruitful lines of inquiry. Even the field of urban health still lacks the multilevel, longitudinal research programs that could identify the effects of neighborhoods, social networks, and social capital in developing-country cities.
From page 51...
... For all these reasons, economic factors are fundamental to an understanding of urban demography. The preceding discussion has been concerned mainly with what might be termed social and biological externalities, which arise from social interactions in differentiated populations.
From page 52...
... It is in the middle range, where costs are appreciable but not prohibitive, that the economics of spatial clustering are of interest (Henderson, Shalizi, and Venables, 2000~. Today, with declines in the costs of information exchange due to the telephone, the Internet, and other innovations, spatial proximity might be thought to have lost some of its former economic significance.
From page 53...
... The cost reductions derived from proximity can i7In some accounts of the theory, the within-industry and cross-industry effects are termed, respectively, localization and urbanization effects. We reserve the phrase "localization effects" for true externalities associated with spatial proximity, as contrasted with effects mediated through markets.
From page 54...
... Within this literature, diversity elects refer to the positive externalities generated by information exchange in heterogeneous environments; here the emphasis is on the variety of urban economic activity and the stimuli that are provided by diversity. The concept owes much to Jacobs (1969, 1984)
From page 55...
... Contrary to expectation, however, it appears that producer services are often concentrated in large cities. The reasons for this may have to do with urbanization economies and the economic rewards to cross-industry, intraurban diversification (Jacobs, 1969, 1984; Glaeser, Kallal, Scheinkman, and Shleifer, 1992~.
From page 56...
... The social capital aspect of networks can matter when economic decisions must be made swiftly. To seize opportunities when they arise, economic actors may need assurance that their partners are trustworthy and can keep strategic information confidential.
From page 57...
... Still, as with neighborhood effects and social interaction, the economic theories discussed here have run well ahead of empirical tests. The statistical difficulties that confront dynamic theories of agglomeration are precisely those that confront theories of neighborhood effects.
From page 58...
... But we cannot be content to leave off here, with individual cities as the units of analysis. Cities exist within wideranging social and economic systems that connect them to other cities and to the rural populations of their regions.
From page 59...
... Of course, many other factors such as the savings on transport costs achieved by processing raw agricultural outputs and natural site-specific advantages may be just as important as localization effects to the economic life of small cities. Although in poor countries these cities account for a large share of the urban population, researchers have yet to understand just how their economic health is sustained (but see Hardoy and Satterthwaite, 1986a,b)
From page 60...
... Although population growth rates also declined somewhat outside the core areas of Sao Paulo, growth rates in the outskirts remained well above those in the city core. Yet even while residential growth was declining in the core areas of the city, these areas were accounting for a large share of new employment growth, especially in producer services (not shown in the figure)
From page 61...
... It has been estimated that almost half of urban development in poor countries occurs outside established city boundaries, where local governments are often fragmented and poorly equipped to handle the demands of city building (Webster, 2000a)
From page 62...
... Like their rural counterparts, the urban poor have little alternative but to rely upon income and asset diversification; betteroff urban households also maintain a mix of assets to accumulate capital (Baker, 1995~. The networks of economic flows linking urban and rural households include not only the remittances sent from urban to rural households, but also the foodstuffs that are conveyed in the opposite direction.
From page 63...
... shows, it was their rural counties to which the greatest productivity benefits then accrued. Rural and urban households are knit together in numerous mutually beneficial economic and social networks; as groups, however, rural and urban populations have distinct and at times sharply conflicting interests (Douglass, 1989; Kelly, 1998~.
From page 64...
... For these reasons, governments are inescapable presences in local urban spaces. As we have just seen, however, cities are assuming complex spatial forms, often extending into terrain where the lines of governmental authority are muddled and casting influence across regions that include substantial rural populations.
From page 65...
... Unless transfers from higher-level governments are well designed (see Box 2.5) , local governments in have-not regions will rarely be able to marshal the resources available to those in wealthier regions, and if such tendencies are left unchecked, the result can be pronounced regional inequities.24 In decentralized systems, higher-level governments need to devise ways of managing the externalities that spill across local governmental boundaries.25 In addition, when the national government cedes power 24Discussing how systems of intergovernmental transfers can be designed to promote efficiency and equity, Bird and Smart (2002)
From page 66...
... The phenomenon of decentralization with all its attendant risks and benefits, often heatedly debated in the countries involved does not yet appear to have engaged the attention of the international demographic research community. Perhaps in many countries, health and family planning services are still being delivered through vertically organized ministries of health, much as they have been for decades.
From page 67...
... Furthermore, when carefully considered, the differences between urban and rural populations are almost always seen to be differences in degree rather than in kind. In almost any aspect that might be considered, urban and rural populations have something in common, and they often overlap substantially.
From page 68...
... This chapter has emphasized the social embeddedness of information and behavior (Granovetter, 1985) , drawing attention to the ways in which individuals and families are linked to their social networks, neighborhoods, and local associations; how they are connected to the larger structures of government; and how they may be engaged as groups in relations of governance.
From page 69...
... , depicts a composite index of urbanness derived from an unusual blend of remotely sensed data on land cover (indicators of vegetation, impervious surfaces, bare soil, and the shade cast by buildings) and census data on population density and the proportion of the labor force in nonagricultural occupations.
From page 70...
... the range and weak ties of social networks; CITIES TRANSFORMED (6) higher urban incomes on average, possibly with greater income disparities.
From page 71...
... A number of the distinctively urban social features stem from one source: spatial proximity brings socioeconomic diversity into focus. Proximity allows information to flow more easily among social network members; it highlights social reference groups and role models; and it puts diverse consumption possibilities on view.
From page 72...
... In both rural and urban settings, the need for child labor can keep children from attending school regularly or at all. It is a commonplace that urban populations rely more heavily than rural populations on cash income for access to necessities including food, fuel, fresh water, housing (which is more commercialized in cities)
From page 73...
... Higher levels of health risk are very much to be expected in urban areas lacking provisions for infrastructure, services, and waste management. Dispersed rural populations enjoy a measure of natural protection from much communicable disease.
From page 74...
... The spatial concentration and visibility of urban populations may well leave them at the mercy of bureaucracies and powerful vested interests. On occasion, however, spatial concentration can also confer on the poor a certain political mass and even a measure of power.


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