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May 25 , 2008

Beyond the City: The Rural Contribution to Development


"In Latin American and Caribbean history, rural societies have been at the center of both the origins of prosperity and of social upheaval. Rural communities have access to a wealth of natural resources, including arable land and forests, yet they face the highest poverty rates within countries. Characterized by low population densities and located far from the major urban centers, rural communities must overcome severe restrictions in their access to public services and private markets, even in some countries where public expenditures per inhabitant are higher in rural than in urban communities. Beyond the City evaluates the contribution of rural development and policies to growth, poverty alleviation, and environmental degradation in the rest of the economy, as well as in the rural space. This title brings together new theoretical and empirical treatments of the links between rural and national development. New findings and are combined with existing literature to enhance our understanding of the how rural economic activities contribute to various aspects of national development. The study is based on original research funded by the World Bank's Office of the Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean. Of particular relevance is the interaction between agricultural and territorial development issues. The empirical findings also make substantial contributions to the debate over the appropriate design of public policies aiming to enhance the rural contribution to national development, including economic growth, poverty reduction, environmental sustainability, and macroeconomic stability. "
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