The Report focuses on the spatial transformations that must happen for countries to develop. Cities, migration and trade, it is claimed, have been the main catalysts of progress and hence ‗Growing cities, ever more mobile people, and increasingly specialised products are … essential for economic success‘ (World Bank 2009, xx). These greater densities, shorter distances and reduced divisions will, the Report argues, bring about unbalanced growth: however, over time, other policies and mechanisms for integration will foster convergence in living standards. Development, seen through the Report‘s eyes, involves a necessary (and welcome) spatial unevenness in economic activity coupled with progressive spatial evenness in human welfare. This view is both positive (in that it reflects the way the Report reads economic history) and normative (in that the Report argues that this is how things should be). The key policy challenge is to accelerate economic divergence while reducing the time taken for welfare convergence.
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Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Rigg, Jonathan; Bebbington, Anthony J.; Gough, Katherine V.; Bryceson, Deborah F.; Agergaard, Jytte; Fold, Niels; and Tacoli, Cecilia, "The World Development Report 2009 'reshapes economic geography': Geographical reflections" (2009). Geography. 494.
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Rigg, Jonathan, et al. "The World Development Report 2009'reshapes economic geography': geographical reflections." Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 34.2 (2009): 128-136., which has been published in final form at https://www.jstor.org/stable/40270706. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.