What makes some countries urbanize without industrializing?

Despite the relatively lack of industrialisation in the some of the aforementioned countries, it is key to note that wage levels and career opportunities tend to be better in urban areas than in rural areas – even for low-skilled people.

The article below gives a good perspective about urbanisation in some developing countries that do not follow the past experiences obtainable in developed economies.

An Africanist Perspective

…. Kuwait, Gabon, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Algeria, Angola and Nigeria are as urbanized as Uruguay, Taiwan, South Korea, Mexico, Malaysia, South Africa and China respectively, and yet the former countries have not industrialized to the same extent as the latter. This raises several questions. Where do the cities in Angola, Nigeria, and the others come from? Why have so many cities in today’s developing world never been factory cities, in stark contrast to the historical experience of today’s developed countries? If these cities have a different origin, does it matter for economic development?

We show that conditional on income per capita, urbanization rates are unrelated to the share of resource exports in GDP or the share of manufacturing and services in GDP. Urbanization is a function of income per capita across all countries.

However, the composition of urban employment differs starkly between resource-exporters and non-exporters, holding constant income levels and…

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