NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Transforming Cities: Does Urbanization Promote Democratic Change?

Edward L. Glaeser, Bryce Millett Steinberg

NBER Working Paper No. 22860
Issued in November 2016
NBER Program(s):   PE   POL

Could urbanization lead to more democracy and better government for the mega-cities of the developing world? This paper reviews three channels through which urbanization may generate political change. First, cities facilitate coordinated public action and enhance the effectiveness of uprisings. Second, cities may increase the demand for democracy relative to dictatorship. Third, cities may engender the development of “civic capital” which enables citizens to improve their own institutions. History and empirics provide significant support for the first channel, but less evidence exists for the others. Urbanization may improve the quality of poor-world governments, but more research is needed to draw that conclusion.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Access to NBER Papers

You are eligible for a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.

E-mail:

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22860

Published: Edward L. Glaeser & Bryce Millett Steinberg, 2017. "Transforming cities: does urbanization promote democratic change?," Regional Studies, vol 51(1), pages 58-68.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Mitaritonna, Orefice, and Peri w22852 Immigrants and Firms' Outcomes: Evidence from France
Chauvin, Glaeser, Ma, and Tobio w22002 What is Different About Urbanization in Rich and Poor Countries? Cities in Brazil, China, India and the United States
Morck and Nakamura w22865 Japan’s Ultimately Unaccursed Natural Resources-Financed Industrialization
Ashraf, Glaeser, and Ponzetto w21910 Infrastructure, Incentives and Institutions
Albouy, Behrens, Robert-Nicoud, and Seegert w22823 The Optimal Distribution of Population across Cities
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us