Globalization and the Rise of Mega-Cities in the Developing World

37 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2008

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 2008


Thomas Friedman has argued in The World is Flat that those who deny rapid globalization will not survive in the global economy. First, we critically discuss Friedman's views and highlight the new globalization driven by outsourcing and vertical specialization. Second, we argue that Friedman pays insufficient attention to the spectacular growth of mega-cities in the developing world. The world is not flat, and the developing world certainly is not. Still, mega-cities tend to become too big. Their growth also goes hand in hand with formation of slums and congestion. We thus argue that there is a role for public policies.

Keywords: globalization, unbundling, off-shoring, mega-cities, congestion, public policies

JEL Classification: F01, H40, O10, R10

Suggested Citation

van der Ploeg, Frederick and Poelhekke, Steven, Globalization and the Rise of Mega-Cities in the Developing World (February 2008). Available at SSRN: or

Frederick Van der Ploeg (Contact Author)

University of Oxford ( email )

Manor Road Building
Manor Road
Oxford, OX1 3BJ
United Kingdom

Steven Poelhekke

University of Auckland ( email )

New Zealand

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